January 21st, 2010
01:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama wants to limit bank size

President Obama announced the 'Volcker rule' Thursday.  The proposal is named after Paul Volcker, an Obama economic adviser who is also a former Federal Reserve chief.
President Obama announced the 'Volcker rule' Thursday. The proposal is named after Paul Volcker, an Obama economic adviser who is also a former Federal Reserve chief.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama on Thursday publicly signed on to a message that former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker has been giving for a year: Let's limit the big banks.

Volcker, an economic adviser to Obama, will join the president Thursday in announcing new measures to narrow the size and scope of banks' investment activities, according to a senior administration official.

Calling it the "Volcker rule," the president proposed prohibiting commercial banks from making trades for their own accounts. He also proposed prohibiting banks from owning or investing in hedge funds.

"We should no longer allow banks to stray too far from their central mission of serving their customers," Obama said in a White House address.

Obama also proposed tougher rules aimed at limiting bank mergers and consolidation. New, yet to be determined, caps would curb banks' marketshare, going further than existing caps.

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soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. ICARE

    Yes, no MONOPOLY.... Deuh....

    Politicionary:]

    Voters: Dumb sheep: cant tell the difference between which ones are the good donkeys or good elephants = usually votes for elephants in disguise of wanting to help the public

    Republi CORP or Republi CON: so smart will not listen to anyone = in love with scrooges = nothing for the people = see past 8 years = creates wealth in the form of borrowing = left 5 trillion dollars for future to pay = Gives handouts of 1 trillion dollars to billionaires = See W

    Dumbo CRAT = dumb enough to listen = Usually cleans up after the elephants' mess = Revives the economy = Always give something back to the communities = see Bill Clinton

    January 21, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Dutch the Great

    Wonderful move. If you're too big to fail, you're too big!!!

    January 21, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. in AK

    obama, you and volker are full of it!

    January 21, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. SocialismBad

    WOW! This is the FIRST common sense idea I've seen Obama make!! Maybe there IS HOPE?!!

    No company should be "too big to fail" and if it is then it shouldn't be allow to get so big. Now can we PLEASE apply this concept to GOVERNMENT??!!!!

    January 21, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    There simply is no question, that large American and / or global corporations, need to have some governmental controls assigned to them, to be sure they are behaving like acceptable, much less decent, corporate citizens.

    January 21, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Reagan raised taxes

    Mr.President you may have to borrow Teddys big stick for that job,hes the only president to ever really scare them.

    January 21, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Nadilyn

    Too much government control!!! Where is the capitalism?? The banks should not have accepted the bailout, now they are under the gov's thumb.

    January 21, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Jill-IN

    Get a copy of the DVD Frontline: The Warning and watch it. You'll wish Glass-Steagall Act had never been repealed. They should repeal the Securitization and Modernization Act.

    January 21, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Chipster

    It's a great idea to reinstate Glass-Steagall regulations but, let's be honest about it. Our leaders no longer restrict greed and excess. Every Bill they right to prevent excess includes waivers for one industry after another. Right now, anti-trust exemptions are being written into the healthcare Bill. So what good are these phony Bills that exempt industries from continuing the same behavior that got us into this mess in the first place?

    If such a Bill passes, it will likely exempt banks and "other financial institutions." Don't waste the paper or our time.

    January 21, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. AJ

    Too bad its not possible to limit ego size too!

    January 21, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Mitchell from MS

    Yet he does not want to regulate Fannie and Freddie.

    Funny the banks have paid back the money they received with interest and Fannie and Freddie have not.

    Obama and the Dems have not problem with executives from Fannie and Freddie receiving BIG BONUSES yet not the executives from the banks? Why?

    OH I KNOW WHY THE GOV. DOESN'T OWN THE BANKS BUT DOES OWN FANNIE AND FREDDIE AND IT IS OK FOR OBAMA'S FRIENDS TO BE WEALTHY JUST NOT ANYONE ELSE.

    COME ON CNN, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO START HOLDING THIS ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTABLE?

    January 21, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Marion/Birmingham,Al

    Clinton de-regulated the banks so they could make more loans an grow making money for their share holders,Had the Government stayed out of the martgage markets and not backed the sub-prime loans the banks would not have taken those risks and went under. We need smaller government intervention and controls,while letting business run its business and failure is the option of bad business moves,not bailouts.

    January 21, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Capt. Snarky

    Interesting. Perhaps he can also limit the U.S. governments size while he's at it. He seems to think it's treasury is his personal bank, why not?

    January 21, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This should have been done when Sen. John McCain of Arizona bilked Lincoln S&L investors out of billions and not after John McCain's son left in June, 2009 with bonuses a month before Silver Bank of Arizona failed causing Bank of America to take over Silver Bank to pay investors and we the tax payers bailed out Bank of America. Bank of America is still in trouble today and it smells of John McCain.

    January 21, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. mark

    obama is so arrogant, summers actually gas it right...

    January 21, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    After some of the moves Geithner and Summers have made with catastrophic results this proposal should be approached with great skepticism.

    January 21, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Debi

    As a guest said on Jon Stewart: fire your bank if you are upset with the bailout followed by bonuses.

    Credit Unions keep money in the community which you live. I have never heard credit union giving bonuses. At my credit union we elect the officers to handle our money.

    January 21, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Alan, Phoenix

    Preseident Obama to Limit the size of banks?!
    Then why did he push for JPMorgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual?
    This is why people are mad.
    Do what you say.
    Please pass the healthcare reform before you decide against it.

    January 21, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. vic

    if we lose democrats from office were done!!!! GOP will take over again and continue wars, destruction of this country

    January 21, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    It's about time! Bank of America and Citibank would have failed within 24 hours if they had not been bailed out by TARP. Like a domino effect, they would have taken a lot of banks down with them.

    The "Insured by the FDIC" sign at Bank of America is meaningless. The FDIC does not have enough money to insure a bank that big. It has had to borrow premiums for the next three years to pay for this past year's bank failures, and those are much smaller banks.

    The re-implementation of Glass-Steagall should have been done a year ago. The repeal of Glass Steagall is more responsible for the cataclismic events of September, 2008 than any other factor. Wise men put it in place for a reason and irresponsible men took it away, and their reason was greed.

    January 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    The Greedy Obstructionist Party won't allow this – the never allow restrictions or regulations on their buddies. Look at what the 5 republican Supreme Court members handed the republicans.

    January 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. obama the liar

    three more years and the end of the Democratic Socialist Party.

    January 21, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. NYCitizen

    All I wanna know is if banks are allowed to charge me whopping dollar amounts in interests on credit card, loans, etc.......how come they won't give me bigger interest earned on my savings/checking accounts I hold with them? What's up with that?

    January 21, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Note to conservatives: It was a CONSERVATIVE dominated supreme court that just decided to give corporations more say in who gets elected. Still think conservatives have your best interest in mind? Welcome to the United States of Amerika, Inc. Have a nice day, consumerbots!

    January 21, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Jerry

    It will be interesting to see how congress votes here. If the McCain/Cantwell legislation fails and Obamas proposal gets ammended to the point of uselessness we will all finally see that both parties, minus a few are just corpotate puppets.

    January 21, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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