About time

Posted on

FT.com / Companies / Banks - Obama to put limits on bank trading.

Obama's getting it, at last:

President Barack Obama is set to toughen his approach to Wall Street regulation on Thursday, announcing limits on the size of proprietary trading operations .

“A couple of months ago the president began discussing with his economic team the need to include in financial reform more specific and stronger provisions to limit the size and scope of financial institutions to cut down on excessive risk taking,” said an administration official on Wednesday.

“The proposal will include size and complexity limits specifically on proprietary trading and the White House will work closely with [the House of Representatives] and Senate to work this into legislation moving on the Hill.”

The announcement is likely to stop short of the return to a forced separation between riskier investment banking and the utility functions of retail and commercial banking that was enshrined in the Glass-Steagall Act.

(Sorry, long quote, public interest defence)

It was time Obama acted.

It's shame he had to lose a seat in the Senate before doing so.

And even now a failure to restore Glass-Stegall is a mistake.

But the need to stop 'socially useless' banking whose sole purpose is to steal funds from the rest of us - by siphoning off our pension funds, savings and tax revenues - is vital.

So better late than never.

And now the same in the UK please.

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