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For the Volcker Rule, "Let it Be"


WASHINGTON — Regulators were clearly giddy, and some might suggest punchy, when they finalized the Volcker Rule after three years of inter-agency squabbling.

Federal Reserve Board Gov. Daniel Tarullo kicked things off at a board meeting on Tuesday by referencing British author Charles Dickens, describing the lengthy process to implement a ban on proprietary trading by saying he believed at one time it was destined to become the "Jarndyce versus Jarndyce" of rulemaking. (For the non-English majors among you, it's a reference to a fictional court case in the novel "Bleak House" that drags on for generations).

But Scott Alvarez, the Fed's general counsel, acknowledged he had something else on his mind as the rule was finalized.

"While Governor Tarullo is adept at making allusions to great literature, this last couple of years, I found myself more thinking about the Beatles," said Alvarez.

He then launched into an extended riff, using titles of various Beatles songs to discuss the rule.

"It has certainly been a 'Long and Winding Road' and with [Fed staffers] Chris Paridon and Anna Harrington having worked 'Eight Days a Week' for the last two years and done a phenomenal job and a lot of 'Help From Our Friends' at the other agencies," Alvarez said. "We've made it through truly an 'Octopus Garden' of issues... and a thicket of comments in the 'Norwegian Woods.' And finally, we can say, 'Here Comes the Sun.'"



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