In this report, we assess the annual report filed today by the Office of Financial Research, assessing the degree to which initiatives under way by this still-fledgling entity will lead to new rules, data requirements or other actions. OFR highlights LIBOR as a concern in its first report to Congress, but provides no insight into what it may do to evaluate the data on which the rate is pegged or otherwise play a role in the replacement-benchmark exercise now under way by central bankers (see Client Report LIBOR). Of most note is a statement that OFR may use its rulemaking power to mandate data standardization across the full range of financial-services firms, with OFR also noting its responsibility to assess and report on stress tests (albeit without suggesting special near-term plans to do so). Much in the report defends OFR’s mission against those in Congress who have called for abolishing it (see Client Reports in the OFR series), with the agency for example arguing that it will fill data gaps left by federal banking agencies due to their supervisory distractions and differing needs. The report also goes into considerable detail about how its work dovetails with that discussed by FSOC in its new annual report (see Client Report FSOC7).
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