So Much For The Volcker Plan: Shelby, Dodd And Kanjorsky All But Kill The Prop Ban Proposal

Tyler Durden's picture

Pulling Volcker out of the closet following the Massachusetts debacle was a useful diversion: the whole prop trading ban seemed almost credible. And now that there are no immediate public votes in the future, it is safe to put Volcker back where he belongs, but quietly, lest the morts and general peasantry think that Obama is all bluster and no actions. Alas, if the latest development in the ongoing Wall Street "regulatory" saga, as reported by the FT is any indication, the prop trading plan, as proposed by Volcker, is now dead. This time, the last chance to put the financial system on some stable footing comes courtesy of Dick Shelby, Chris Dodd and Paul Kanjorski.

A proposal by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to limit
bank’s proprietary trading will be either be dropped or significantly
modified in the Senate, lawmakers and staffers told dealReporter.

Banking Committee ranking member Richard Shelby (R-AL) said he opposes
the so-called Volcker rule and the Obama administration’s call to levy
a USD 90bn tax on banks. His comments come as House Financial Services
Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) predicted the proposals outlined
by President Obama could be law within six months.

Speaking to
this news service on Thursday, Shelby said if Democrats push forward
with the proposals they risk unravelling much of the bipartisan support
already reached regarding the passage of financial regulatory reform in
the Senate. Shelby said that the Obama administration risks losing
Republican support for the bill if they begin to “politicise” the issue.

In retrospect, this is pretty smart of Obama - the prop ban, which was badly conceived, as its actual implementation would likely result in the spin offs of many of Wall Street's most profitable segments, will be buried, and the blame will be put on the republicans. One wonders just whose special interests Richard Shelby is protecting this time around.

And yet, as always, critical to the killing of Volcker's idea, will be none other than Chris Dodd, who is somehow still in office after announcing he is retiring, having the support of about 5 voters in his district.

A Dodd staffer said the senator is likely to quietly drop or modify
many of the recommendations in the Volcker rule to ensure Republican
support for regulatory reform.

“Chris is retiring so he wants to
end his career with an important regulatory reform bill and he wants to
make the bill bipartisan,” the staffer said. “He is not going to risk
bipartisan support to make the White House happy.”

The Democratic
staffer said there is an ongoing debate among members of the banking
committee about whether the Volcker rule would effectively push risk
out of regulated markets and thus ultimately create more risk to the
financial system.

Dodd told this news service on Thursday that
the banking committee will begin mark-up of the financial regulatory
bill in the near future and his committee will hold a committee meeting
on the Volcker Amendment on Tuesday with Volcker and a follow-up
hearing on Thursday.

Lastly it seems that Kanjorski is also set on killing the prop ban:

House Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski told
this news service he is only 80% to 85% in agreement with the Volcker
rule and that many issues raised by Volcker are already included in his
amendment passed by the House.

Warner blamed much of the
political storm connected to regulatory reform on bankers. He called
Goldman Sachs’s proposal to lend USD 500m to small businesses over a
five-year period derisory, and said banks need to come out in front of
the issue regarding compensation.

So there you have it: Wall Street, after getting bailed out by America, is now back to telling America what is in its own best interest; if the cost is a few corrupt politicians, so be it: we are certain that the trio above was easily purchased with less than one day of Goldman's record trading days during Q4. In the meantime, we continue cruising along, pretending that anything has changed, except that this time open wealth transfer from taxpayers to investment bankers is not only legal and allowed, it is in fact encouraged.

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Careless Whisper's picture

but Paulson said on tv today that he did it all for the American people.

Screwball's picture

CNBC touted his book all day long, even had interviews almost hourly with him and Liesman.  They also had Andrew Ross Sorkin who recently released "Too Big To Fail" talking about Hank's book.  I have been reading TBTF (almost done) and have no intent on reading Hank's after reading Sorkin's.  I just can't come to any comfort he's telling the truth, and I have serious doubts Hank will either.  Especially since the CNBC ass kissers are touting it.  I don't believe anything any of these people tell us anymore.  Then there is Charlie Gasbags's "Sellout".  I think not.  I kick myself in the ass for being stupid enough to think we will ever know the truth.

MarketTruth's picture

CNBC still has more than two viewers?

(This is aimed at the cartel-controlled channel, not the person posting on ZH)

John Self's picture

... and in a related note, now watch J.P. Morgan jump back into the bidding on Sempra.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

prop is a word best used cold.

Screwball's picture

Words cannot describe how pissed off these criminal bastards make me.  Didn't Shelby vote against Bernanke last week?  Bernanke bad, banks good?  I don't get it.  Doesn't appear he wants to fix anything, as long as he looks politically expedient.  Dodd and Kanjorski I'm not surprised at, not surprised at all.  They have been in the banks pockets for a long time.

It doesn't matter I guess, so many Americans have no clue what's going on anyway, and a large part of those who think they do, get their news from the carnival barkers on TV and radio.  These three, along with the rest of the criminals in congress continue to laugh at our stupidity and ignorance, while jamming it in our ass on a daily basis.

Gold...Bitches's picture

what do you expect from a flip flopper?  He got elected as a democrat and then in 94 when the winds changed in 1994 he's all of a sudden a republican...

Screwball's picture

I wasn't aware of that, thanks.  But I'm not surprised.  The closer you look, the uglier the turds get. 

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The fix is in so....BUY Gold.

JohnKing's picture

Shelby is pretty much a gangster.


There had also been some victories. Like that time that Patrick called Senator Richard Shelby (R – Alabama) a “gangster.” It was in October 2006, and Shelby, the chairman of the Senate banking committee, was spending a lot of time on television defending hedge funds accused of selling phantom stock. When the Senate held hearings on hedge funds, Shelby stacked the panel with friends of David Rocker.

So Patrick went on a radio program and called Shelby a “gangster.”

Shelby invited Patrick to meet him on Capitol Hill. Patrick made the trip. He waited in an ornate conference room for an hour. Then Shelby entered. The Senator referred to himself in the third person: “The Chairman of this Committee believes that you are trespassing on matters that are under his jurisdiction.” Then he just sat there and stared Patrick down. It was as if…well, it was as if Shelby were a gangster.



Anonymous's picture

I wrote a scathing letter to my Senator - Shelby - before the $700B tarp bailout. he opposed it and has behaved pretty well since then. This move tells me that he has again been bought off. I will tell him how I feel and will oppose him in his next election bid.

He is either working for the citizens of Alabama (and the rest of the nation) or he is in the pocket of the banksters. My guess is the latter.

VegasBD's picture

Im so surprised.

Mongo's picture

Deja vu... simply a glitch in the matrix. Agents coming to pick up Volcker for processing and termination.

Rainman's picture

+ 1,000.

        Agent Smith

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Good, bring on the collapse of the system, the sooner the better.

Gold...Bitches's picture

oh no.  Im hoping they stretch it out a while before it implodes.  I get to buy more gold until then...

panda6's picture

This is awesome news!

Miles Kendig's picture

It matters not what Shelby, Dodd, Kanjorsky, Frank or any other member of congress says or does.  They have handed over the powers to appropriate & tax to the federal reserve without so much as a whimper.  The congress has willingly rendered itself immaterial to the discussion.

Anonymous's picture

It is now clear that we were wrong to elect one warm fuzzy speech to run the country. It's just a speech, nothing really more.

lizzy36's picture

One wonders whose bitch Kanjorski is (as it certainly is not the citizens of Pennsylvania)? He has been a busy boy today, proposing the bailout of CRE and killing any proposed ban on prop trading. 

Amusingly, from 1989 to 2008, Kanjorski received the 5th-most campaign contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae among all members of Congress. New Century Financial Corp. was also a major contibutor (b/f the fraud it was went bankrupt).   


Big Al's picture

Corruption is the norm for any politician who represents the PA hard coal regions.  The voters expect their politicians to be on the take and don't care as long as some government pork trickles down to them.  

Corruption is so endemic that most of the local judges in his district are under indictment for taking bribes.

Crime of the Century's picture

Don't get me started on Grampa Munster. This bastard really pulled a clever one by volunteering to tell the breathless tale of The Electronic Run On The Banks on CSPAN. I thought it was a legit peek behind the scenes - at first. Now it can be plainly seen to be the TARP ass-covering narrative that he was only too happy to apply his dramatic skills to. When it's his turn for Congressional inquiry, anybody else notice how he uses his time to "rehearse" the meltdown and impute pure motives to the players he's supposed to be grilling? Captured old bastard, he is.

Anonymous's picture

These two make me sick. They argue how CRE needs to be rescued because it is endangering small business when all I see is grossly inflated CRE prices choking out small business. Defaults and devaluation are one of the few things that might help save small business. No surprise, though, considering from where Kanjorski receives the majority of his financing:

Industry Total Indivs PACs
Insurance $133,700 $2,000 $131,700
Securities & Investment $91,900 $19,100 $72,800
Real Estate $45,000 $10,000 $35,000

Calvert's a bigger dirtbag, though, claiming to be for free markets, less government interference, fiscal responsibility and parroting typical Republi-talk, all the while getting blow jobs from hookers, receiving kick-backs from earmarks, stuffing his fat ass with burgers and pushing for more taxpayer money for his loser developer friends at church.

Here's his financing:

Real Estate $55,010 $47,010 $8,000
Leadership PACs $37,500 $0 $37,500
Building Materials & Equipment $32,598 $30,098 $2,500

Miles Kendig's picture

Lizzy, as a former resident of his district might I provide you with a bit of humor of how folks from that area communicate?  Enjoy.

Anonymous's picture

Sent this letter, as nice as I can be, to the White House:

"I cannot remember a time when a leader for whom expectations were so high came to be such a disappointment. The list of issues on which your Presidency has already failed is long, but today I will note only one: Bank Reform.

It has quickly become clear that your dog-and-pony show with former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker was merely a theatrical performance aimed at countering the Scott Brown victory. Already the lobbyists are gutting any reform, Prop Trading will continue to be backstopped by the US Taxpayer, and Too Big to Fail will keep risk high, rewards (for the bankers) higher, and losses socialized.

Perhaps the death of real capitalism began under your predecessor, but you have shown a complete lack of courage in putting the country back on the path of what made it great. The recent economic numbers are merely a dead cat bounce (inventory buildup, etc.), and a renewed decline is inevitable as new bubbles are blown right in front of you. Sadly, there is now even talk of bailing out Commercial Real Estate. Must WE, the PEOPLE pay for everyone's mistake?

The American people, though not the brightest of lights, will become increasingly aware that the party in power is totally beholden to Wall Street, that bank policy and regulation is written by those with the deepest pockets, and that absent an election booth revolt all hope for "change we REALLY can believe in" is lost.

I was an ardent supporter. I will now vote for anyone not associated with the ongoing rape of the American taxpayer.

You stated recently that you would be happy being a great one term President. In reality, I fear you will be a failed one term President, because you lack either the knowledge or the courage to do the right thing for the 305 million Americans who are not employed by Wall Street.

You have Paul Volcker but you refuse to use him, instead relying on lifetime failures such as Summers and Geithner. Sad."

Yes, it will into the Recycle Bin faster than a GS Bot can front run a valued customer, but what the heck.

deadhead's picture

a very well composed letter.  nicely done

Anonymous's picture


I hope you don't mind if I borrow a vocal supporter and voter, I am having the same feelings. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous's picture

When the only remaining solution is violence......

Anonymous's picture

Right on, uber-douchebag.

Really, you going to bomb a federal building or some stupid shit? Oh wait, let me add some periods so it isn't an elipses and it seems like you aren't a douchebag.....

What, did ron paul followers start flocking here now?

I thought this was an economic website.

dumpster's picture

most politicians have seen the head of a horse in their bed,

or a ENEVELOPE  with cash .. with instructions to make a decision .


even the slow moving of the dallas tape is shown from time to time  .. to keep the president io line ..


9-11 a serious explosions in the honest factor of the politicans .

what does one expect from cover up to cover up.. ..





nazdagg's picture

at any future elections, please vote. vote for a Libertarian, a Commie, a god damn 3 lagged dog, but vote.

buzzsaw99's picture

The current system cannot be reformed.

Anonymous's picture

Good call. Let's burn the constitution and start over!


cougar_w's picture

Oh, the Constitution is fine.

The current system is not based on the Constitution, that's all.

The current system resembles far too closely the European monarchies the Constitution was designed to mitigate.


Anonymous's picture

Right, so what set forth the structure that allowed it to happen?

Think about it. This government IS based on the constitution that was written. That same constitution has ALLOWED government to become what it is.

Think about it, well actually wait until after you spooge your biased load on the romantic version of a historical document that is the source of everything good and NOTHING bad.

boooyaaaah's picture


Prop Trading ---- schnopp trading Naked Short Selling is really how Prime Brokers abuse their privileged status ---- creating a share to sell out if thin air---The DTCC as mentioned in the link is as bad as the FED-- And they can share this privilege with select hedge funds ---When GS was going down in 08 ----- the SEC did not temporarily ban Prop Trading --- no, they banned naked short selling --- because GS was being eaten by their fellow sharks ------ Ted Kaufman is going to get perp walks   Good interview.  Excerpt:      

Forbes: Now, has the SEC caught up on the technology that makes it very difficult to prevent naked short selling?----

Kaufman: Well, I think that's part of their problem, is how, but there are ways to do it that, you know, I'm not talking about, oh, naked. By the way, there's a way to deal with naked short-selling that and that is------

Forbes: Perp walk.-----

Kaufman: DTCC, now yeah, perp walk. I hadn't thought of that one. Yeah, no, that always works. That's very salutary, and one of my favorite sayings is, ------"There's nothing like the prospect of a hanging to concentrate the mind." -----But, no, DTCC, which does all back end clearing, basically what happens now, if I want to sell 100 share of IBM, I can go to the DTCC, and I say, "Do you have 100 shares of IBM today to sell short?" And they say, "Yeah, I've got 100 shares." ----So, I sell it short. You can come in right behind me, you get the same 100 shares.----- What they want to do is they want to have a hard locate. And so when I come, and I say I want to sell 100 shares of AT&T, they put a flag on the 100 shares.----- And when I went to my broker to do the short sale, I'd have to have, you know, them communicate that they've got the shares.----- So there's only 100 shares, I sell it.

Person comes behind me says, "Do you have 100 shares?" say, "No, that's gone. That's being held for Kaufman's sale." It's a real simple system, it could do a load of good in terms of dealing with this thing. A lot of people just don't want to do away, I mean, there's a, there's two things going on. One is, lots of people making a lot of money, which always ties into it. The second, the people who are the victims don't want to admit they're the victims. They don't want to, as I said, as the top number two guy in of our major financial institutions say to me, he was in the office just to talk about some other things. I'm leaving, he says, "Great job you're doing on short selling." And I said, "Great, why don't you say something about it?" He said, "Well, I don't, you know, they'll come and get me."

So, while this is, nobody wants to kind of take on the short sales, because they don't want to be the victim that the short sellers go after. It's a little like the same thing goes on, you know, in the ghetto, with the no-snitch shirts. It's, like, nobody wants to be a snitch, nobody wants to turn them in, because then, it may cause me a problem. So that's one of the reasons why, I think, they're moving so slowly. And lots of people there will defend--

Forbes: Why does the SEC have a bias toward short-sellers? Have they--

Kaufman: Oh, I don't think they have a bias, I think they're just nervous about moving because when they call a meeting together, most the people that come say short-selling's great. And they're the people that are benefiting, many times, benefiting from short sales. There are also academics who think it's a good idea, but it is clearly a very, very dangerous situation to have.    
chindit13's picture

I guess all those WS profits were not paid out in company bonuses after all;  some obviously went to contract employees in Congress, too.  I am reminded of Bill Gross' investor letter last month where he voiced astonishment at how cheap most politicians are and how little it takes to buy them.

Yes, I can hear the arguments now:  if we come down too hard we will lose our "competitive advantage" as banks relocate to overseas' locales.  We cannot have a Too Big to Fail Gap with places like Hong Kong or Geneva.  As George C. Scott's character said in Dr. Strangelove, "I'd like to get me one of those Doomsday devices."

Rest assured the likes of Kanjorsky, Dodd and Shelby, plus the host of other clowns we were all stupid enough to put into power, will make sure the US retains the biggest and most powerful Doomsday Machines money can buy.

The revolution will not be televised.

velobabe's picture

what in the heck do you do for fun?

ya got wit.

Anonymous's picture

Why is anyone pissed off at Obama for failing to get the parasitic Senate to go along with his prop ban idea? "It's just theater" is a pretty weak argument. At least acknowledge that if YOU were president that you wouldn't fare any better at trying to get these thieving megalomaniacs to do anything close to "the right thing" for the country.

Gimp's picture

Money get back

I'm alright Jack keep your hands off my stack

Money it's a hit

Don't give me that do goody good bullshit

I'm in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set

And I think I need a Lear jet

         - Pink Floyd - Now the new Congressional Oath of office

Miles Kendig's picture

Even though all of the trappings are simply crumbs on loan... Excellent reference.

assumptionblindness's picture

Now I understand why the Volker Rule appears to be DOA.  In the middle of an orgy nobody says; "gee, maybe we should slow down and changing some things."  Ain't nothin' gonna stop this party.   So sad...

Anonymous's picture

"the cost is a few corrupt politicians, so be it:"

Biggest understatement heard to date on ZH.

I think what you folks are dealing with here is an entire corrupt political class. Excellent at paralysing all initiatives against their masters and quite good at their task of pushing America over the cliff. Sure this is democracy? Doesn't seem like there is much of a choice. Chris Dodd or Bawney Frank? Bush or Obama? Illusion or delusion?

Anonymous's picture

Stupid constitution, it has set us up to fail. The framers set the framework for the inevitable failure we are now looking at.

assumptionblindness's picture

So, the Volker Rule was really nothing more than a populist stunt?  I am shocked!   Shocked, I tell you!

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

I do not say this likely but I am now convinced that Rome(USA) will fall in my lifetime and the high priests of the Federal reserve system want to reestablish a new form of papacy on its ashes.

I am gutted that after throwing trillions of dead dollars on the bonfire of the vanities they will destroy what is left of Nasa which runs on a social welfare budget of less then $20 billion a year.

Also the fiscal spending on a civilian nuclear programme is nowhere near enough to replace even the remaining reactors

The western world is being pillaged by these parasites who take in the name of the "market" - BUT WHAT DO THEY GIVE  IN RETURN ,NOTHING BUT LIES.

The west needs to spend trillions on fiscal infrastructure spending to get out of this mess because cutting back on these programmes will compound the interest on our debt

We are in this mess because we listened to these malcontents who speak of fiscal rectitude and yet they spend the surplus of our endeavors on frivolous consumption.

When are we going to smash down the artificial walls they have constructed around our minds and reject this hopeless system of capital rundown.

chet's picture

It's really pretty flabbergasting, even for our system of open corruption, that there has been NO meaningful financial reform in the last 1.5 years.

Usually, they try to at least hide the fact that they don't give a shit about the little people.  This is just blatant.  "These banks blew up and we saved them with your money.  And now the worst we're going to do to them is give them more of your money."

I wish the President would just use the regulatory powers of the agencies he already has to start busting asses.  But we all know that won't happen.

Our country is already gone.  I think a lot of people are afraid that we're on a "slippery slope" and "running out of time".  It's too late.  America is gone.  Law and order, to the extent it still exists, is just a street-level cudgel for keeping the little people meek and quiet.

Racer's picture

Go gettum ZH, you are THE hope, please  :)

Tripps's picture

ha ha ha bears!!! guess the banks aint gonna collapse after all! LMFAO