A marathon negotiation session on Capitol Hill has delivered a clearer picture of the financial regulatory reform likely to emerge from Congress, as the conference committee has approved the bill. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., accepted a compromise put forth by Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., allowing banks to continue trading foreign-exchange and interest-rate swaps, as well as instruments deemed as "hedging for the bank's own risk." The compromise would still see banks forced to spin off the trading of other derivatives to subsidiaries. Democrats also came to an agreement on a modified version of the "Volcker rule" that would allow banks to invest 3% of their tangible equity in hedge funds and private equity funds. The legislation now moves to the full House and Senate for a vote.
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