Rodge Cohen Discusses Impact of New Financial Regulations on Wall Street

September 23, 2010

Mr. Cohen was a guest on the September 23 edition of CNBC's “Strategy Session” where he discussed the possibility of layoffs on Wall Street and the new Basel III banking reforms. “I think the investment banking companies have developed a business model…that is cyclical,” Mr. Cohen said. “One of the ways you deal with cyclicality is through reductions in staff.” He also said that he believes further consolidations among large Wall Street investment firms is unlikely in light of the new Dodd-Frank financial reforms. “At the very top level, there is a clear regulatory bias against further consolidation,” Mr. Cohen said. “Too big to fail really translated into too big. But I think at the next level, and this is now more on the retail and commercial banking side, probably sooner rather than later, we will start to see consolidation again.” In addition, he said he believes financial institutions will begin implementing changes to comply with the new Basel III capital standards, in advance of the deadline in eight years. However, Mr. Cohen said, bank chiefs still have many questions about the rules. “I think what I'm hearing most is that we need clarity,” he said.