The surest way to rankle a supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement is to repeat the common claim that the movement has no defined goals, a criticism that has dogged the group since its inception. But last week an offshoot of the movement, called “Occupy the SEC,” undermined that characterization when it submitted a 325-page letter to federal regulators filled with concrete criticisms and proposals for the final implementation of the so-called ‘Volcker Rule.
The letter offered detailed responses to the hundreds of queries that regulators posed to the public on the possible effects of the rule, which bars federally-supported banks from making speculative trades or owning private equity or hedge funds. It was also an example of the Occupy movement participating in the regulatory process alongside the lobbyists for big banks whom they supposedly despise. In fact, the letter shows that it’s members not only have a high level of financial sophistication, but also a respect for what a modern capitalist financial system can bestow upon society.