GUEST COMMENT: I'm a prop trader and I don't give a damn about the Volcker Rule

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I'm a senior prop trader working within a bank. I've been in this profession since 1993, both before Glass Steagall and after. In my opinion, the rules announced yesterday are meaningless.

First, they'll take three to five years to go through, by which time they will have changed beyond recognition. Second, there will be regulatory arbitrage. And third, prop trading was alive and well before Glass Steagall; it will be alive and well after this.

There seems to be some kind of misunderstanding about what prop trading is. It's not ten guys sitting around a desk trading, it's what a bank fundamentally does. It's everything from principal investments, to bringing a stock to market, to acting as a market maker. If you take away prop trading, you destroy institutions.

What we had yesterday was a simple knee-jerk reaction for political gain. It was all about shoring up the Democratic base after losing Massachusetts.

By targeting prop traders, politicians are going after the wrong thing. It wasn't prop trading that caused the crisis, it was leverage, OTC derivatives, and a lack of regulation that allowed entire banks to become massive casinos. Politicians don't want to tackle this because it throws the blame directly onto them.

Personally, I see no need to move to a hedge fund. This is in flux and I'm not going to jump every time a politician who's looking after his job makes a decision. It will be a long, hard fight. Obama has taken on the most powerful people in the world; good luck to him.

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