Washington, DC: Proponents of financial reform are celebrating the revised Volcker Rule, which imposes a strict requirement that the heads of the banking industry promise to never ruin the economy again. This promise will be sealed by a traditional legal contract referred to as pinky jurare. This is when the two parties lock pinkies while making a promise. It dates back to the Ancient Rome, where it was believed that the pinky had a direct connection to the truth-telling parts of the soul.
President Obama thanked Congress for revising the rule, addressing concerns of reformers by saying, “No, it isn’t perfect and, no, it isn’t everything we wanted, and yes, it’s probably all we’re going to get but…well, at least we’re consistent.”
The new rule also provides for oversight of the banking industry from those most qualified to do so: bankers. Paul Volcker in a press conference explained: “Follow me, here. Who knows all the tricks that bankers are likely to pull? Bankers. And who knows all the tricks of the bankers who crash economies? The bankers who crashed our economy! Simple logic, people.”
Volcker’s argument has been backed up by psychologists, who suggest that bankers are particularly skilled at delaying satisfaction. One, Dr. Richard McPopkin, ran an experiment where bankers were left alone in a room with a marshmallow and told that if they didn’t eat the marshmallow, they’d get two marshmallows later. “And when we came back the marshmallow was still there. The room was on fire, but the marshmallow was still there. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t leave bankers alone in flammable rooms.”
The new rule has drawn the ire of Republicans, who feel that forcing bankers to pinky swear is going too far. Some have suggested a more traditional handshake, while others have suggested a handwritten memo. There have even been rumors of requesting a fax.
Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Spencer Bachus appeared before the press with top bankers from Goldman Sachs. “We don’t need to require anything from bankers. Look how sorry they all are!” He gestured toward the bankers, who all pouted and hung their heads in shame.
Despite disagreement, the Volcker Rule has already begun taking effect. Jaime Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, met with the heads of the SEC this week to administer the pinky swear. The process went off without an issue until one regulator noticed that Dimon had his fingers crossed behind his back. SEC Chair Mary Jo White responded, explaining, “We are still working to close this loophole.”