Allowing banks to free up more capital for things like home loans would be a boost for banks, and for the U.S. economy, he added. Many market watchers have expressed concern that big banks are being regulated into utilities -- that is to say, saddled with enough requirements and boxes to check that they would face low margins in virtually any economy.

But regulators, for now, look determined to head in the opposite direction, which would create additional pressure on Wall Street.

... not everyone thinks banks deserve a break. Christopher Whalen, senior managing director at the Kroll Bond Rating Agency, said the banks are in a mess of their own making.

"It's puzzling why banks and nonbanks have positioned for higher interest rates," he said. "The notion you should position for higher rates is downright reckless."

From the looks of it, Wall Street won't have its expectations met in the way of higher rates in 2016. It isn't even clear a rate hike is coming this year at all. If one doesn't happen, that likely would mean big banks will miss projected return-on-capital estimates.

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