Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan are part of a group of banks asking the U.S. Federal Reserve for a five year grace period to comply with the "illiquids" component of the Volcker rule. They argue that some investments do not contractually expire for years or lack a market for sale.
The Fed has already granted three one-year extensions for compliance with a broader provision of the Volcker rule regarding stakes in hedge funds and private equity funds – the maximum number of extensions it could provide in that context. The new requests, which were widely expected, concern only "illiquid" fund investments. The Fed risks criticism for giving Wall Street more wiggle room, but also risks blame for fire-sale losses or for banks and their investor clients getting tied up in court if they are forced to exit certain contractual agreements quickly.