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Bernanke to open comment on too-big-to-fail reform

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers Thursday the Financial Stability Oversight Council created to oversee the revamping of too-big-to-fail institutions will release a package of proposed Dodd-Frank rules this summer. There will also be open comment to meet the January 2012 implementation deadline of the rules. In testimony delivered to the House Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Bernanke said the major thrust of the rules is to mitigate risks from systemically important financial firms, which means the comment period will allow parties to give feedback on the Fed's proposed risk-based capital and leverage requirements, liquidity requirements and single-counter party credit limits. In addition, the package includes the Fed's proposal that systemically important financial firms create living wills that outline their exit strategies in times of financial distress. Bernanke informed the Committee that the Federal Reserve still has much to do at the "international level to strengthen the global financial system." He said the Fed is currently working with regulatory agencies and central banks across the globe to brainstorm requirements for banks that are internationally significant. "These efforts resulted in the agreements reached in the fall of 2010 on the major elements of the new Basel III prudential framework for globally active banks. The requirements under Basel III that such banks hold more and better-quality capital and more-robust liquidity buffers should make the financial system more stable and reduce the likelihood of future financial crises. We are working with the other U.S. banking agencies to incorporate the Basel III agreements into U.S. regulations, Bernanke told the panel. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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