Hooray, More Free Money
Bloomberg reports Banks Get Easier Volcker Rule and $40 Billion Break on Swaps.
The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approved changes to the Volcker Rule Thursday that let banks increase their dealings with certain funds by providing more clarity on what’s allowed. The regulators also scrapped a requirement that lenders hold margin when trading derivatives with their affiliates.
Thursday’s separate reversal of the interaffiliate margin requirement for swaps trades could free up an estimated $40 billion for Wall Street banks, though regulators added a new threshold that limits the scale of margin that can be forgiven.
The FDIC’s Gruenberg opposed the change to swaps rules, arguing that it removes a critical protection for banks. Fed Governor Lael Brainard reiterated that concern, saying in a statement that she dissented from the Fed’s approval because she fears the deregulatory move “could again leave banks exposed to the buildup of risky derivatives.”
What can possibly go wrong with fewer restrictions and less margin required on derivatives?