Volcker Rule Costs Tallied as U.S. Regulators Press Deadline
By Jesse Hamilton and Cheyenne Hopkins
The fate of the Dodd-Frank Act’s ban on banks trading for their own accounts — one of the final pieces of the U.S. effort to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis — may rest with a cluster of economists at the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The agency’s 50 economists are attempting to calculate the costs and benefits of the so-called Volcker rule, a linchpin of the financial overhaul that would curb the kind of high-stakes proprietary trading that could lead to crippling losses or bailouts at banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Citigroup Inc. Court challenges that overturned other Dodd-Frank regulations because of faulty cost-benefit analysis have increased pressure on the SEC economists, led by Craig M. Lewis, a veteran finance professor on leave from Vanderbilt University.   “Treasury wants this done” and is “cracking heads” to get there, said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based Federal Financial Analytics.