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Fed looks to ease rule that limits risky bank trading

In this March 21, 2018 file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell looks to his notes as he speaks during a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve is preparing to ease a rule aimed at defusing the kind of risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial meltdown.

The Volcker Rule, crafted by a bevy of regulators 4 1/2 years ago, changed the way the biggest U.S. banks do business. It bars banks' risky trading bets for their own profit with depositors' money. The rule is a key plank of the landmark Dodd-Frank financial regulation law aimed at reducing the likelihood of another crisis and taxpayer bailout of banks.

The move is the latest effort by the government to loosen such restraints on banks. President Donald Trump has blamed Dodd-Frank for constraining economic growth. The Fed is meeting Wednesday to propose changes to the Volcker Rule.

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