(Originally posted on January 22nd 2010)
I have been down with a fever ever since I came back from India on the 18th. However it looks like The Volcker Rule has scared the fever out of me. The markets have reacted negatively. Personally I am not sure what to make of it. Curbing the power of the proprietary desk is in a sense good but extending that to not investing in Hedge Funds or Private Equity is not good. If the Volcker Rule is implemented then in the future there will be very little to base a decision on whether the banks are putting their money where their mouth is. That is however the least of my concern. The greater and more immediate fear is if the banks have to pull their money out then the investor will get hit because the managers of the funds will have no choice but to sell. This will result in the same deadly spiral that we saw in September and October of 2008. I will be highly disappointed if banks are forced to sell immediately. I think I will be on my toes until things become clearer. There will be no knee jerk reaction from my side but I will be hesitant. It is Friday evening and it is time to switch off.