Occupy The SEC, one of Occupy Wall Street’s offshoots, has filed a lawsuit in hopes of forcing regulators to (finally) finalize the Volker Rule – a provision within the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Three years later many of the rules that Congress punted to regulators in the law have not even been made let alone enforced.
On Feb. 26, 2013, attorney Tewary, a member of Occupy the SEC, filed a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other bank regulators to compel them to obey the law and finalize the Volcker Rule. That’s the part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act that bars banks gambling with depositors’ money. Dodd-Frank mandated that the regulators, including the Federal Reserve, Comptroller of the Currency, FDIC, SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), complete this rule by July 2012.
They have not.
Since Dodd-Frank passed there have been many violations of a would be Volker Rule most famously JP Morgan’s London Whale incident. The lawsuit notes that plaintiffs, as customers of JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, are threatened by the regulator’s inaction on implementing the Dodd-Frank rules.
This is not the first action by Occupy The SEC which seems to fall into the more liberal technocratic wing of Occupy Wall Street. The group offered a 400 page comment letter during the comment period of the rule making process. Not surprisingly it seems to have been ignored. As this lawsuit likely will be.
And of course, given there is no real punishment for Wall Street bankers breaking the law one is forced to wonder what the rush is to enact a rule that violators will incur no substantive penalty for breaking anyway. Nonetheless, the lawsuit may embarrass the regulators into some action. Occupy The SEC may be one of the final experiments of trying to “work within the system” vis a vis Wall Street and has yielded predictably nebulous results thus far. This should not be put on the activists, no one can win a rigged game. The only way to win at three card monte is not to play.