With the passing of the Dodd-Frank Bill, one pesky thing that banks have had to spent a couple hours getting in line with is the Volcker Rule, and what it means for their proprietary trading desks. Whether to spin them off, send the employees to a farm in the country where they can run around, move them to the basement or just rename the group the 'troprietary prading' unit, about which no one will be the wiser, the whole thing has been a bit of a headache. One person who hasn't lost any sleep over the mandate, however, is Vikram Pandit. Because unlike his counterparts at say, Goldman, who've clutched their pearls and felt faint at the thought of a world without prop, Vickles got behind the rule before it was even a twinkle in Volcker's eye.
“It’s all about clients,” Pandit told the New Yorker. The biggest mistake Citi and other banks made during the boom, he said, was coming to believe that investing and trading on their own account, rather than on behalf of their clients, was a basic aspect of banking. Even before the Dodd-Frank bill was passed, Pandit was closing down some of Citi’s proprietary businesses and trying to sell others. “Proprietary trading is not the core of what banking is about,” he said. In place of a business model that was largely dependent on making quick gains, he is trying to revive a banking culture based on cultivating long-term relationships with Citi’s customers. “Once you make your business all about relationships, conflicts of interest are not an issue,” he said.
Obviously he's too modest to say it so we will: Vikram wasn't just complying with the Volcker Rule before it was passed-- Vikram invented the Volcker Rule, which shouldn't even be called the Volcker Rule, it should be the Pandit Precedent, or something. Whatever. You'll be hearing from his lawyers, Paul, you weasel. Tyler and Cameron Winkelvi know what we're talking about.