VOLCKER RULE – JOHN BERLAU
Joint regulations issued last week to implement Dodd-Frank’s so-called Volcker Rule were almost 1000 pages, nearly half as long as the law itself. “Changing the Ways of Wall Street” was how a New York Times news piece characterized the rule when it was released last week.
Yet this week, even the NYT was compelled to report on the regulation hitting a bank that was about as far away from Wall Street as once could get. “Volcker Rule Quickly Hits Utah Bank,” reads the headline of an NYT article describing how the Volcker Rule forced Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation to divest a long-held debt security and take a loss of $387 million by doing so. As Bloomberg notes in its piece on the shocking hit to the bank’s balance sheet, this “cost is more than Zions earned for any calendar year since 2007.”
NAUGHTY REGULATIONS – WAYNE CREWS
It’s nearly Christmas and Santa’s coming. Has Washington been naughty or nice?
In 2013, Congress has passed and the president has signed into law 57 pieces of legislation by my quick count. They’re our elected representatives, doing what they were voted into office to do. If we’re unhappy, the relevance of even-numbered years is well established. A new such year starts in only 13 days.
But meanwhile, people you didn’t elect to make laws but who do so regardless–the 291,676 federal regulatory agency employees–have issued 3,531 final regulations so far in 2013. That’s a lot of lumps of coal!
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS ACT – TREY KOVACS
Some costs of government arise from how regulations are enacted and accounted for (or as is actually most often the case, unaccounted for). Here in Part 4 we glance at some of these shortcomings. If lawmaking up on Capitol Hill is compared to sausage making, it gets even worse down here in the agency packing houses.