Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Commissioner Mark Wetjen on the Volcker Rule

December 10, 2013

Thank you Chairman Gensler, and my thanks to the professional staff for the hard work they put into the rulemaking before us today.

The Volcker Rule, like many of the commission’s rules, is focused on the policy objective of compelling banks to limit or better manage risk in a way that lowers the odds of a taxpayer-financed bailout, or, short of that, a failure of one of those firms. Dodd-Frank tasked the prudential and market regulators with implementing that objective, and I believe the release before us today will do so appropriately.

Congress also sensibly required that the prudential regulators adopt a joint Volcker rule, and that the market regulators coordinate with the prudential regulators in their rulemaking efforts. One of the true hallmarks of today’s rule is that the market regulators involved went beyond the congressional requirement to simply coordinate. In fact, the rule before us today reflects the same substantive text as that adopted by the other agencies, and contains no substantive differences in the preamble language.

Building a consensus among five different government agencies is no easy task, and the level of coordination on a complicated rulemaking such as this is remarkable. Commission staff and the staffs of the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities Exchange Commission deserve special recognition for this feat alone.

I also believe Secretary Lew, Under Secretary Miller and other officials at the Treasury department deserve enormous credit for their role in helping coordinate the rulemaking effort. And finally, the heads of the involved agencies, including Chairman Gensler, deserve credit as well for their work in bringing today’s releases over the finish line.

The Volcker Rule is one of the last remaining CFTC rulemakings required by Dodd-Frank. Beyond this effort, almost all of the commission’s Dodd-Frank rules have been, or are in the process of being, implemented.

For this we can thank Chairman Gensler’s leadership. Today there is transparency in the swaps market where virtually none existed before. Swap dealers and major swap participants are registered. Swaps are promptly reported to swap data repositories. Most liquid swaps are now cleared. And soon many will be traded on a regulated platform for the first time. For his efforts on the Volcker Rule and the rest of his work in leading the CFTC to implement Title VII of Dodd-Frank, Chairman Gensler has done a tremendous service to the American public and the markets this agency regulates.

Last Updated: December 10, 2013