UPDATE 1-US Fed extends comment time on Wall St risk rules

Fri Mar 2, 2012 2:59pm EST

* Extends comment period to April 30

* Dodd-Frank rules set new capital, liquidity standards

* Delay comes as Geithner blasts reform critics

By Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON, March 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve is giving the financial industry and general public more time to weigh in on new rules that would impose stricter capital and liquidity standards on the nation's largest banks.

The Fed said on Friday it is extending the comment period on the proposal to April 30 from March 31.

The rules, proposed in December, attempt to restrain risk-taking by the largest U.S. banks as the government reforms the financial system to make it more resilient against future crises.

The proposal, required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law, includes new capital and liquidity rules that would roll out in two phases and not likely go further than international standards.

The Fed cited "the range and complexity of the issues addressed in the rulemaking" as the reason for pushing back the comment deadline.

The delay comes as regulators remind Americans that financial reform must move forward with conviction, or risk a repeat of the searing loss of wealth and jobs.

In an editorial for The Wall Street Journal published on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned readers that "Amnesia is what causes financial crises."

"Remember the crisis when you hear complaints about financial reform ... Remember the crisis when you read about the hundreds of millions of dollars now being spent on lobbyists trying to weaken or repeal financial reform," he added.

The Fed rules on capital and liquidity are intended to ensure that banks have enough of a cushion to endure financial shocks, such as the bursting of asset bubbles or dramatic market swings.

When the proposal was released in December, some analysts were disappointed that it did not have more details and that in many areas it simply echoed the law, leaving the specifics for later.

The rules, once finalized, will apply to all banks with more than $50 billion in assets, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America.

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