According to Petrasic, this means that the regulators have been purposely vague, so that "near term and short term can be as long or short as they care to make it, depending on the circumstances."

During the comment period, "there will be a desire for as much of a bright line as possible," he said.

Petrasic went on to say that at this point, "everybody's focused on proprietary trading," since the Volcker Rule's ban on private equity and hedge fund investments, with certain exceptions, is much easier to understand.

"The proposal represents the agencies' understanding that daylight is needed for banks to be able to understand what the requirements are. At this point the regulators recognize that they are driving through fog," he said.

Frank A. Mayer, III -- a partner in the Financial Services Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP - said that the lengthening of the comment period and the "350 questions" asked by regulators in the prosed rules mean that "the regulators are having difficulty defining precisely in their rule making what is impactful to safety and soundness of insured depository institutions" regarding "mitigation hedging activities for customers and the financial institution."

"I predict this will end up being a compliance issue at the institutional level with roughly hewn safe harbors," he said.

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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