Summary of The Volcker Rule and Market-Making in Times of Stress

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Economists Jack Bao, Maureen O’Hara and Alex Zhou look into whether regulators have gone overboard in their curtailing of the financial sector’s activities following the 2008 financial crisis. They examine the Volcker Rule, one of the crisis-inspired regulations, and its impacts so far on liquidity in the corporate bond market. Their findings describe a butterfly effect in the financial ecosystem: The commendable aim of protecting taxpayers from banks’ speculation can have harmful unintended consequences. getAbstract suggests this scholarly, illuminating analysis to regulators, financial executives, broker dealers and risk managers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Volcker Rule has affected liquidity in the corporate bond market,
  • What the rule’s impact has been on broker dealers and
  • Whether other regulations might also be responsible for the decline in corporate bond market liquidity.

About the Authors

Jack Bao and Alex Zhou are economists at the Federal Reserve Board. Maureen O’Hara is a finance professor at Cornell University.



One regulatory consequence of the 2008 financial crisis was the enactment of the Volcker Rule, which limited certain financial institutions’ ability to engage in speculative activities. The rule says that a bank that has recourse to government support can’t engage in trading for its own account or have...

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