Share

Beltway Confidential

Goldman comments on Volcker Rule show how regulation can help the big guys

By |
Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Investment bank Goldman Sachs reported losses last quarter, and some folks are chalking this up to the Volcker Rule — a regulation created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill.

But here's a telling line from Goldman's latest earnings call, as reported on Seeking Alpha:

As for the Volcker Rule's impact on revenue, Schwartz says there won't be any of note. Instead, it will be more an expense item: "There’s a pretty extensive compliance regime."

If that's true -- if Goldman's CFO wasn't just blowing smoke at investors -- it says something pretty damning about the Volcker Rule. It suggests the rule's biggest effect is not to halt risky behavior, but to force Goldman to hire a bunch of lobbyists, lawyers and accountants to figure out how to shoehorn what Goldman wants to do into what Volcker allows (creating a moat to protect Goldman, meanwhile).

Here's some corroborating evidence:

* Goldman Sachs recap: With new rule comes “Volcker implementation team”

* Goldman Real-Estate Play Skirts Volcker Ban

* Goldman Sachs' New Credit Fund Dodges Volcker Rule Sanctions

* Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley shares rise as Volcker Rule is enacted

* Wall Street Exhales as Volcker Rule Seen Sparing Market-Making

View article comments Leave a comment