Yellen: Stronger Economy Only Needs ‘Modest’ Financial-Rule Tweaks

Reforms put in place after the 2007 to 2009 crisis have strengthened the financial system without impeding economic growth, and any future changes should remain modest, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday in her fullest defense yet of the rules put in place after the Great Recession.

“The balance of research suggests that the core reforms we have put in place have substantially boosted resilience without unduly limiting credit availability or economic growth,” the Fed chair said at an annual central bank research conference.

Some changes to individual regulations may be warranted, Yellen said, specifically mentioning possible relaxation of the Volcker rule limit on banks’ equity trading, and further relaxation of rules that apply to medium-sized and smaller banks. Steps may be needed, she agreed, to improve liquidity in parts of the bond market, though that system remained “robust.”

Overall, the Fed chair said, “any adjustment to the regulatory

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