On October 19th, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published a report on its regulatory reform program. The new Basel III standards raise the quality of capital; increase the risk coverage of the capital framework; raise minimum capital requirements, including an increase in the minimum common equity requirement from 2% to 4.5% and a capital conservation buffer of 2.5%, bringing the total common equity requirement to 7%; introduces an internationally harmonized leverage ratio; raises standards for the supervisory review process (Pillar 2) and public disclosures (Pillar 3); introduces minimum global liquidity standards; and promotes the accumulation of counter-cyclical capital buffers. After an observation period, the standards will be phased in, becoming fully effective in 2015. Bank of International Settlements Press Release. On October 21st, Reuters reported FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said that U.S. capital requirements for banks will most likely be more stringent than those required by Basel III. Bair Remarks.