Occupy the SEC

So as not to be remembered as mace-enticing defilers of public property, the more productive members of the “Occupy” movement have collaborated to produce the most comprehensive, coherent, and noteworthy assessment of the Volcker Rule on record. A non-profit group called “occupy the SEC” submitted a 325-page comment to the agencies tasked with implementing and enforcing the Volcker Rule, found here, which is of the thousands of submissions, one of the most educated and well-researched.

The authors of the comment letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency label themselves as “a group of concerned citizens, activists, and financial professionals with decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry. Together, we make up a vast array of specialists, including traders, quantitative analysts, compliance officers, and technology and risk analysts.”

Though the group claims to be of the 99% with “bank deposits and retirement accounts that are in need of protection through vigorous enforcement of the Volcker Rule,” the comment letter goes far beyond simply calling out for help, and slinging mud at our giant banking institutions.

It documents scores of loopholes laden within the proposed rule that highlight either the sheer incompetence of the Volcker Rule’s authors or the author’s clear succumbing to regulatory capture from the lobbying efforts of the financial industry. The rule as proposed, from the point-of-view of occupy the SEC, is in need of serious reform.

Nearly every major financial institution, exchange, and industry group has submitted one or multiple comment letters, and has their hands all over the agencies adopting this rule and the legislators influencing it. It’s just one example of the crony capitalism rampant within high finance. Whether the productive members of a movement tarnished by ignoramuses have any breakthrough is yet to be seen. The rule is set to take effect in July. If trend is any indicator of the institutional growth in the financial industry, chances are, it will likely be more of the same.