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FDIC approves bank investment regulation

Oct 17, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation signed off on a new measure aimed at curbing excessive risk-taking in the financial sector this week. The so-called Volcker rule is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law and limits banks' ability to make bets with their own capital or hedge funds. The FDIC board passed the measure unanimously, paving the way for its eventual enforcement. Under the rule banks will be banned from making short-term trades for their own accounts and prevented from owning or sponsoring hedge funds and private-equity funds, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. However, the rule would still allow the big banks to own a 3 percent stake in hedge funds and allow them to "make markets" and risky bets for their clients using their money. Critics of this rule argue that limiting banks' ability to engage in market-making activities may curb revenue and growth, with which the industry has already been struggling post-recession. "Given the controversy that has surrounded this provision, I am delighted the agencies reached agreement," said the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh.