The Federal Reserve has voted to adopt Basel III capital rules, while easing the burden of implementation on the smallest banks and pledging further requirements for the biggest institutions. "This framework requires banking organizations to hold more and higher-quality capital, which acts as a financial cushion to absorb losses, while reducing the incentive for firms to take excessive risks," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said. "Banking organizations will be better able to withstand periods of financial stress, thus contributing to the overall health of the U.S. economy."

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