mercoledì 12 ottobre 2011

La regola di Volker in arrivo?

Uno dei cardini della Dodd-Frank, la legge USA di riforma della regolamentazione delle banche e in generale della finanza, è la regola di Volker che limiterà considerevolmente il trading propietario delle banche. Secondo il New York Times la settimana in corso vedrà degli sviluppi decisivi per la definizione delle regole:

... most trades that Wall Street firms now make with their own money — betting on an individual stock or a basket of shares, for example, or trading complex derivatives and swaps — would be prohibited. The rules, part of the Dodd-Frank law, are intended to limit the ability of banks that have government guarantees and Federal Reserve borrowing privileges to take outsize risks. That principle seemed fairly simple when it was proposed last year by Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who was a sharp critic of bank trading practices leading up to the financial crisis.

Secondo il sito che dedica un approfondimento all'argomento  e che ha diffuso un draft della Volker rule datato 30 settembre (che potete scaricare qui)

The plan would broadly define proprietary trading, offer limited circumstances under which a bank could invest in a hedge or private-equity fund, and require banks to install internal controls to ensure compliance with the Volcker Rule. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is set to issue the nearly 300-page proposal on Oct. 11. Other regulators are expected to act around the same time.

La lettura del documento preliminare è molto interessante nella sua articolazione delle limitazioni al trading propietario e sull'implementazione da parte delle banche delle procedure interne di controllo per assicurare che le regole introdotte siano rispettate. Ma come osserva il NYT nel suo articolo
The draft, which was dated Sept. 30 and published by the American Banker last week, might be significantly different from what is officially released later this month by the four agencies that are working on the rules: the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The F.D.I.C. on Tuesday will be the first to release a version of the rules for a 60-day public comment.
The draft document contains hundreds of questions on which the agencies will seek comments — a sign that “suggests disagreement among agencies” on some of the details, according to lawyers at Davis Polk & Wardwell, which prepared a memo for clients last week summarizing the rules.
The most fundamental of those disagreements is likely to be where the line should be drawn between bona fide market-making activity, where a bank’s traders offer to buy and sell a security to meet the trading desires of customers, and short-term trading with the bank acting as a principal in transactions solely for its own benefit. (...)
“If the market-making definition is too narrow, that kind of activity will be curtailed,” Mr. Snook, of the securities industry group, said. “That will cause the cost of financing to go up, restrict the ability of companies to get access to capital and therefore to hire and expand.”
Nr. Naylor of Public Citizen says there should be further limits on market-making activity, especially on “the sort of thinly traded, esoteric instruments for which there is not natural demand” — like some of the collateralized debt obligations and other derivatives whose collapse contributed to the financial crisis.
Moody’s said on Monday that if the draft that surfaced last week was not significantly changed before it became final, it would probably “diminish the flexibility and profitability of banks’ valuable market-making operations and place them at a competitive disadvantage to firms not constrained by the rule.” (...)
Still others note that the proposed rules call for a significant increase in the level of internal compliance and oversight at banks, something that will discourage the casino culture that has long pervaded the proprietary trading operations of large banks. Large firms could be required to provide to regulators as many as 22 separate metrics or gauges of investment activity each month to prove that they are playing by the rules.

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