Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Volker Concept

I read this in The Times this morning:
"Every banker I speak with knows very well what 'proprietary trading' means and implies."
Paul Volker--testifying before the Senate Banking Committee in February.
The same article went on to suggest that legislators, while eager to insert a surprisingly strict version of the Volker Rule (which will, roughly, ban big banks--recipients of super-cheap Fed funds--from using that same super-cheap money to engage in trading on their own behalf) into the financial reform legislation currently under House/Senate wrangling, are waiting for the Treasury Department to tell them what 'proprietary trading' is so they can put a stop to the nonsense. Until they get such language they are referring to the Volker Rule as the Volker Concept. Tongue in cheek, I suppose.

All of which makes me want to paint Paul Volker:



I mean, the picture alone gives me goose-bumps, given my predilection for guys holding their heads in their hands.



This quite old painting (Girl With Head) could have started the whole thing.

Anyway, I wonder how many people actually know who the guy is. Volker, that is. I remain amazed at how many people don't know who Christopher Dodd is. And he's a Senator from Connecticut--one of the three states composing the Tri-State-Region.

I mean, I could understand somebody from New York not knowing who, say, Blanche Lincoln was (particularly six months ago--she's been in the news lately). But Chris Dodd?

So it's a concern.

Nonetheless, I like painting his picture and then scrawling the "Every banker I speak with..." quote across the top in lieu of the traditional "The Annotated Volker". Which, frankly, should exacerbate the problem.

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