Is Basel II a hurdle too far for US broker-dealers?

US broker-dealers are worried that the final capital requirement framework under the Basel II regime for US banks remains unclear, even though they are expected to implement the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) own consolidated capital requirements by the end of this year.

Major US broker-dealers – Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch – have all applied for consolidated supervised entity (CSE) status with the SEC. This regime was created in

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