In this Article, I propose an implementation of the Volcker Rule that balances the statutory mandate to promote the safety and soundness of U.S. banking organizations with the significant role that bank-affiliated dealers currently play as providers of liquidity in over-the-counter markets. The Volcker Rule restricts the proprietary trading activities of U.S. banks and their affiliates subject to exemptions for traditional banking activities and certain “client-oriented” activities. This Article draws upon the academic literature regarding expressive law, the history of federal banking legislation, and the text of the Dodd-Frank Act to argue that federal financial regulators have the discretion to implement the Rule’s exemption for “market-making-related activities” to realize synergies with Dodd-Frank’s initiatives in the regulation of over-the-counter markets. Specifically, I envision that the market making exemption could be implemented with a view to encouraging the provision of liquidity to competitive trading facilities. I further argue that such an implementation may well be essential to the vitality of the Volcker Rule, in light of the political forces aligned in favor of the Rule’s repeal.
Onnig H. Dombalagian, The Expressive Synergies of the Volcker Rule, 54 B.C.L. Rev. 469 (2013), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol54/iss2/3