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So far Arezou Rafikian has created 1964 blog entries.
19 04, 2024

American Banker, Friday, April 19, 2024

2024-04-19T15:16:22-04:00April 19th, 2024|Press Clips|

17 04, 2024


2024-04-17T11:24:14-04:00April 17th, 2024|4- GSE Activity Report|

Seconds That Aren’t Piggy

Just as the CFPB readies its assault on cashout-refi discount fees comes FHFA’s request for views on a new Freddie Mac product that would give borrowers access to their locked-up equity without a new first lien at a higher rate or a traditional home-equity second riding piggyback atop the first lien.  With millions of borrowers facing mounting consumer-debt burdens and banks increasingly unable to offer likekind products on their portfolios, the proposal could prove a boon higher-wealth, to cash-strapped borrowers absent sudden house-price drops that leave them under water.  Nonbank mortgage originators also have a brand-new gig.


15 04, 2024


2024-04-15T16:42:00-04:00April 15th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Warren, Whitehouse Attack Chamber’s CFPB Litigation

Continuing their support of the CFPB’s credit-card rule (see FSM Report CREDITCARD37), Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Whitehouse (D-RI) took on the Chamber of Commerce, writing to protest its “outrageous and unwarranted” legal challenge.

HFSC Set for Marathon, Partisan Mark-Up

Wednesday’s HFSC mark-up will feature predictable partisan battles over an array of GOP resolutions to repeal the CFPB’s credit-card rule (see FSM Report CREDITCARD37) and all of the banking-agency climate-risk standards (see Client Reports in the CLIMATE series).

Fed Paper: CBDC May Increase Run Risk, Digital Asset Stability

A new Fed staff paper analyzes a CBDC’s potential impact on financial stability, finding that CBDC introduction could cause a small increase in run risk, but could also improve financial stability in the digital-asset space and enhance cross-border payments.

Does Supervision Make Banks Safer? FRB-NY: Probably

Noting that the impact of bank supervision has received far less attention than that of regulation, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s blog today includes a post summarizing literature in this area, one that has of course taken on new importance in the wake of last year’s failures and resulting agency self-assessment.

BIS Presses Tokenized Unified Ledger

Building on prior work advocating for unified ledgers to achieve digital efficiencies without added risk, the BIS’s General Manager Agustín Carstens and Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani today extended prior analyses to tokenization.


11 04, 2024

FedFin Assessment: FDIC Plan to Resolve GSIBs Fails to Answer Many Key Questions

2024-04-12T09:38:21-04:00April 11th, 2024|The Vault|

In its first public statement since 2013 about how it would execute an SPOE resolution (see FSM Report RESOLVE23), the FDIC yesterday released a report Chair Gruenberg described as demonstrating the FDIC’s readiness to resolve a U.S. GSIB and the process it has developed for doing so under the orderly liquidation authority (OLA) provided in the Dodd-Frank Act (see FSM Report SYSTEMIC30).  As detailed in this FedFin report, the FDIC’s goal is to set stakeholder expectations regarding what to expect in an OLA resolution of a U.S. GSIB, but much reiterates current law and prior actions such as GSIB filings related to their resolution plans and the FRB’s TLAC standards (see FSM Report TLAC6)…..

The full report is available to retainer clients. To find out how you can sign up for the service, click here and here.…

11 04, 2024

Marketplace, Wednesday, April 11, 2024

2024-04-12T09:22:02-04:00April 11th, 2024|Press Clips|

What do bank earnings tell us about the economy?

By Mitchell Hartman

It’s the second week of April, which means spring is in the air and daffodils, cherry trees and lilacs are blooming. Here at Marketplace, it also means earnings season is starting. Corporate profit-and-loss reports for the January-to-March quarter kicked off in earnest Wednesday with Delta Air Lines, which did quite well. Revenue rose 6% and earnings per share nearly doubled from a year ago. ..“Banks really are bellwethers of the economy,” said Karen Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics. “Biggest issues for the larger banks: interest rates, which we — at least, I — know are going to be higher for longer. And that helps to improve bank earnings.” That’s because the banks make more money on the interest they charge borrowers. But Petrou said there’s also a downside to interest rates staying high: credit losses. As consumers keep spending, their credit card balances are rising….“We know that the low-wage earners are having difficulty. What we’re looking for now: Has it crept up the wage scale, middle-income wage earners with late payments or delinquencies?” she said.

9 04, 2024


2024-04-10T10:52:27-04:00April 9th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate GOP Tackles Card Fees

Joined by GOP Senators from credit-card domiciles, Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) yesterday led the expected Republican resolution overturning the CFPB’s credit-card late fee rule (see FSM Report CREDITCARD37).  It joins like-kind resolutions from Rep. Barr (R-KY) and Ogles (R-TN), with Mr. Barr’s resolution the one likely to move to the House floor.

Warren Starts Bargaining for Crypto-AML Standards

Throwing another wrinkle into the careworn face of efforts to pass stablecoin legislation, Sen. Warren (D-MA) yesterday sent a letter to Reps. McHenry (R-NC) and Waters (D-CA) arguing that their ongoing and apparently-hopeful efforts to craft stablecoin legislation may inadvertently amplify risk.


4 04, 2024


2024-04-04T17:00:02-04:00April 4th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Hsu, Gruenberg Skirt CRA Legal Battle

The CRA-related remarks today from Acting Comptroller Hsu and Chair Gruenberg were considerably more muted than those yesterday from Vice Chair Barr, although Mr. Gruenberg expressly defends the new rule despite the pending legal challenge.

FRB-NY: Life, P&C Insurance Poses Climate Risk to Financial Markets

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York yesterday posted a brief focusing on financial-market risk due to climate change, concluding that there is some of potentially systemic magnitude.  This finding is based on a nine-month-old staff report focusing specifically on the insurance sector.

FDIC Presses Banks to do More in LMI Communities

Previewed in remarks by Chair Gruenberg this morning, the FDIC today released its economic inclusion strategic plan calling on banks to invest in LMI and underbanked communities.


4 04, 2024

American Banker, Podcast, April 4, 2025

2024-04-04T15:04:14-04:00April 4th, 2024|Press Clips|

Buy the People: Why everyone loves to hate the Fed

By Kyle Campbell

Click the link below to listen to Kyle Campbell’s podcast on economic  populism.  It’s a terrific survey of Fed history with authoritative insiders including Federal Financial Analytics‘ managing partner Karen Petrou, and then – my bit – an assessment of why recent monetary  policy has made so many Americans so angry and how that affects the political outlook , especially this November.

2 04, 2024

Politico Morning Money, Tuesday, April 2, 2024

2024-04-02T10:37:12-04:00April 2nd, 2024|Press Clips|


First look: A bank merger rethink — MM has a preview of a provocative bank M&A talk that Federal Financial Analytics managing director Karen Petrou will give at a Kansas City Fed workshop today.

As banking agencies signal tougher scrutiny of proposed mergers, Petrou makes the case that regulators are failing to use tools they already have to address conflicts of interest, concentration and unfair competition ahead of M&A reviews.

“How much of this is necessary in merger review and how much could be accomplished by better prudential regulation along with vigilant supervision and meaningful enforcement?” she says in remarks prepared for her talk, which you can read here.

2 04, 2024


2024-04-03T10:42:03-04:00April 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Attacks “Regulation by Application”

FRB Governor Bowman today expressed concerns about the regulatory agencies’ evolving approach to M&A, stating that pending reforms may exacerbate existing procedural problems such as long delays and regulatory uncertainty that may undermine the viability of banks.

OFR Examines Stress-Event LCR

The OFR today published a brief examining the performance of components of the LCR on U.S. GSIBs in response to the COVID-19 shock.  The brief finds that flow volatility sharply increased and remains elevated for unsecured wholesale and retail deposits and was particularly pronounced for brokered deposits.

FRB-PHL: Majority of Consumers Receptive to CBDC

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released a report on CBDCs, finding that a majority of consumers were generally receptive to a U.S. CBDC despite obstacles to widespread CBDC consumer adoption.


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