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The Associated Press

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Slovakia rejects expanded eurozone bailout fund

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) â¿¿ Slovakian lawmakers on Tuesday rejected participating in an expanded euro rescue fund that is aimed at shoring up confidence in the ability of euro members to survive the financial crisis.

Slovakia's 1-year-old coalition government also fell with the vote because the prime minister had tied it to a confidence measure.

Slovakia remains the only country in the 17-member eurozone that has not approved the package of measures, which requires unanimous support to go into effect. The euro stability fund is designed to boost Europe's firefighting capabilities in the financial crisis.

EU officials still could find a way of getting around the Slovakian rejection of the bill to boost the powers and size of the euro bailout fund, which is designed to contain debt market turmoil, but doing so would carry costs to European unity.

The "no" vote will further complicate the eurozone's efforts to deal with the crisis, which already has seen three countries get bailouts and raised fears of a Greek default and massive losses for banks.

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FDIC backs ban on banks trading for own profit

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Banks would be barred from trading for their own profit instead of their clients under a rule federal regulators proposed Tuesday.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. backed the draft rule on a 3-0 vote. The ban on so-called proprietary trading was required under the financial overhaul law.

For years, banks had bet on risky investments with their own money. But when those bets go bad and banks fail, taxpayers could be forced to bail them out. That's what happened during the 2008 financial crisis.

The Federal Reserve has also approved a draft of the so-called Volcker Rule, named after former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

The Securities and Exchange Commission must still vote on it, and then the public has until January 13 to comment. The rule is expected to take effect next year after a final vote by all three regulators.

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