Former US Fed Chairman (before Alan Greenspan) 82 year old Paul Volker has acted as the arbitrator for the various factions involved in financial reform. His main goal was to preserve the so-called Volcker rule, which barred banks from speculating in the markets—a practice known as proprietary trading—and from operating and investing in hedge funds and private-equity funds. Volcker believed that if such a policy were effectively enforced it would go a long way toward restoring the legal divide between commercial banking (the issuance of credit to households and firms) and investment banking (issuing and trading securities). That split existed from the Great Depression until the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, in 1999. There is a very good article in The New Yorker magazine. Although long it is well worth the read – click here. From the left Paul Volker (economic adviser to Obama), Tim Geithner (US Treasury Secretary), President Obama.