Speed Reads

Wall Street is smiling

The Federal Reserve wants to soften the Volcker Rule on big banks

The three members of the Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to move forward a proposal that would roll back the Volcker Rule, which prevents banks from making risky bets with depositors' money.

The Volcker Rule has been in effect since April 2014 and is meant to keep banks in check in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street has complained about the rule ever since, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that regulators are trying to "replace overly complex and inefficient requirements with a more streamlined set of requirements."

The proposal is now open to 60 days of public comment, before the Fed and the four other agencies in charge of the Volcker Rule make a decision on finalizing the change. "We have had almost five years of experience in applying the Volcker Rule," Powell said. "The agencies responsible for implementing the rule see many opportunities to simplify and improve it in ways that will allow firms to conduct appropriate activities without undue burden, and without sacrificing safety and soundness."