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Volcker Unloads on Nation's Finance System

In a spare-no-one, off-the-cuff critique, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker delivered a blistering analysis of the nation’s financial system Thursday, criticizing banks, regulators, business schools, the Fed and money-market funds in a “plea for structural changes in markets and market regulation.”

Volcker jettisoned his prepared remarks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and spoke candidly about the promises of the new financial overhaul law. He also acknowledged the system’s limitations given its dependence on individual regulators, who are heavily lobbied by banks and politicians. –JCL

The Wall Street Journal:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker scrapped a prepared speech he had planned to deliver at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Thursday, and instead delivered a blistering, off-the-cuff critique leveled at nearly every corner of the financial system.

Standing at a lectern with his hands in his pockets, Volcker moved unsparingly from banks to regulators to business schools to the Fed to money-market funds during his luncheon speech.

He praised the new financial overhaul law, but said the system remained at risk because it is subject to future “judgments” of individual regulators, who he said would be relentlessly lobbied by banks and politicians to soften the rules.

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