No surprise here: The elder statesmen of Wall Street favor the Volcker rule:
“Put aside for a moment the populist pressure to regulate banking and trading. Ask the elder statesmen of these industries — giants like George Soros, Nicholas F. Brady, John S. Reed, William H. Donaldson and John C. Bogle — where they stand on regulation, and they will bowl you over with their populism.
They certainly don’t think of themselves as angry Main Streeters. They grew quite wealthy in finance, typically making their fortunes in the ’70s and ’80s when banks and securities firms were considerably more regulated. And now, parting company with the current chieftains, they want more rules.”
When folks like these support something that current CEOs oppose, its easy to figure out the differences between the two groups: The senior players want to see Wall Street have a more robust infrastructure that handles risk better, and is more survivable in a crisis. The current CEOs are driven primarily by profits.
I am in the senior camp — the Volcker rule would not have prevented this crisis, but it would reduce taxpayer exposure to Wall Street speculation. It also might stop the next crisis.
Elders of Wall St. Favor More Regulation
NYT, February 16, 2010