#BHC

8 01, 2024

M010824

2024-01-08T11:25:26-05:00January 8th, 2024|6- Client Memo|

Reflections on Regulatory Failure and a Better Way

Earlier today, we released our 2024 regulatory outlook, a nice summary of which may be found on Politico’s Morning Money.  As I reviewed the draft, I realized how much of what the agencies plan is doomed to do little of what has long been needed to insulate the financial system from repeated shock.  This is a most wearisome thought that then prompted the philosophical reflection also to be found in this brief.  It asks why lots more bank rules do so little for financial resilience yet are always followed by still more rules and then an even bigger bust.   I conclude that financial policy should be founded on Samuel Johnson’s observation that, “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”  That is, redesign policy from one focused on endless, ever-more-complex rules spawning still larger bureaucracies into credible, certain, painful resolutions to concentrate each financial institution’s mind and that of a market that would no longer be assured of bailout or backstop.

m010824.pdf

8 01, 2024

Karen Petrou: Reflections on Regulatory Failure and a Better Way

2024-01-08T11:25:21-05:00January 8th, 2024|The Vault|

Earlier today, we released our 2024 regulatory outlook, a nice summary of which may be found on Politico’s Morning Money.  As I reviewed the draft, I realized how much of what the agencies plan is doomed to do little of what has long been needed to insulate the financial system from repeated shock.  This is a most wearisome thought that then prompted the philosophical reflection also to be found in this brief.  It asks why lots more bank rules do so little for financial resilience yet are always followed by still more rules and then an even bigger bust.   I conclude that financial policy should be founded on Samuel Johnson’s observation that, “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”  That is, redesign policy from one focused on endless, ever-more-complex rules spawning still larger bureaucracies into credible, certain, painful resolutions to concentrate each financial institution’s mind and that of a market that would no longer be assured of bailout or backstop.

We know in our everyday lives that complex rules backed by empty threats lead to very bad behavior.  For example, most parents do not get their kids to brush their teeth by issuing an edict reading something like:

It has long been demonstrated that brushing your teeth from top to bottom, tooth-by-tooth, flossing hereafter and using toothpaste meeting specifications defined herein will achieve cleaner teeth, a brighter smile, improved public acceptance of the tooth-bearer, and lower cost to …

20 12, 2023

DAILY122023

2023-12-20T16:49:55-05:00December 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Small-Business Reporting Reg Remains

In conjunction with his expected veto last night of legislation that would have overturned the CFPB’s small-business reporting rule, President Biden indicated that the Bureau’s rule is central to CRA implementation and would bring transparency to small-business lending.

FSB, IOSCO Try Get-Tough Approach to OEF Illiquidity

As promised, the FSB and IOSCO today finalized recommendations designed to enhance OEF resilience.

HFSC GOP Demands CFPB Nonbank Delay, Clarification

HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) and nineteen Committee Republicans sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra urging the Bureau to extend by thirty days the comment deadline for its proposal to supervise large nonbank payment providers (see FSM Report PAYMENT27).

FERC Passive-Ownership Inquiry Poses Challenges to Funds, Banks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has opened another avenue scrutinizing the extent to which large asset managers may control the companies in which they invest.

FDIC Approves Significantly Revised Sign, Advertising Standards

The FDIC Board today unanimously approved a final rule modernizing requirements for use of the FDIC’s official sign and clarifying what constitutes misrepresentation and misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo.

Daily122023.pdf

15 12, 2023

DAILY121523

2023-12-15T17:31:25-05:00December 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Crypto Measures Await Next Session

As anticipated, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) was able to fend off concerted efforts by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Warren (D-MA) to add the Warren-Marshall crypto bill to the National Defense Authorization Act.

FSOC to Target Hedge Funds, Nonbank Mortgage Companies

The readout from Treasury on yesterday’s FSOC meeting provides insight into the Council’s executive session suggesting significant near-term systemic action regarding hedge funds.

FSB Plans Broad Rewrite of Public Backstops, GSIFI Resolvability, Operational Readiness

The FSB’s 2023 Resolution Report today advises banks and public sector authorities to be prepared to access public sector funding in resolution, with the Board planning to review whether existing public sector backstops are adequate to meet potential failure scenarios.

Brown Renews Bipartisan Quest to Constrain Nonbank Banks

Advancing the big-tech concerns he most recently voiced before GSIB CEOs (see Client Report GSIB23), Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) has introduced S. 3538, bipartisan legislation to impose bank regulation on non-bank parent companies of insured depository institutions.

DOJ Targets Fraudulent Microtransactions

Cracking down on unauthorized bank account charges, the DOJ today announced multiple actions against “sham” companies alleged to have used misrepresentations or unauthorized charges to steal money from consumers’ financial accounts.

CRS Warns Credit Card Act Could Result In Risky Retailer Payment Networks

The CRS this week issued a report analyzing the Durbin-Marshall Credit Card Competition Act, S.1838 (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE10), projecting that fee caps will have a greater impact on transaction fees than competition, with …

2 10, 2023

DAILY100223

2023-10-02T16:36:52-04:00October 2nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB FAQs Open a Small, But Significant Capital Window

In what Reuters takes as a sign of hope that the end-game rules may not be as crushing as banks fear, the FRB has issued a new FAQ related to credit-linked notes and SPVs.

Bowman Turns to Specific Supervisory Reforms

In remarks today, FRB Governor Bowman expanded on her prior comments about Fed supervisory lapses, but made it clear that she also opposes a “heavy-handed” supervisory approach that relies primarily on call report data, instead calling for a new approach to CAMELS and regular engagement with financial institutions to express areas of concern or to better understand a bank’s strategic direction.

Fed OIG re Silvergate: Far More Scathing re Supervision, Need for New Guidance

The OIG report today from the Fed regarding supervisory lapses at Silvergate is considerably less expansive than the prior report on SVB because the parent company remains open despite the IDI’s voluntary liquidation and relevant data are thus deemed confidential.

Barr Presses Emergency-Window Readiness

FRB Vice Chair Barr’s comments today on monetary policy and financial stability provide a detailed rationale for addressing the linkages between these two arms of the Fed’s mandate without any specific steps for doing so.

Daily100223.pdf

29 08, 2023

DAILY082923

2023-08-29T16:55:20-04:00August 29th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Agencies Advance Controversial Long-Term Debt, Resolution Proposals

The FDIC, OCC, and FRB today tackled several critical resolution issues in the wake of recent bank failures, proposals that raise strong objections from regional banks despite FDIC and FRB unanimity today on at least one of them.  As anticipated, the FDIC and FRB approved an NPR that would impose minimum long-term debt requirements for banks and BHCs with assets over $100 billion, with the FDIC and Fed boards voting unanimously in favor even as FRB Gov. Bowman strongly dissented despite a three-year transition period.  Similar to the ANPR floating this rule (see FSM Report RESOLVE48), the proposal would require large banks to hold a minimum amount of eligible long-term debt equal to the greater of six percent of risk weighted assets, 3.5% of average total consolidated assets, or 2.5% of total leverage exposure for banks subject to the SLR.

Daily082923.pdf

22 08, 2023

FedFin on: GSIB Surcharge

2023-08-23T10:19:58-04:00August 22nd, 2023|The Vault|

As anticipated in the wake of recent bank failures, the FRB has proposed a significant revision to the current rules calculating systemic-risk scores that lead to GSIB designation.  These indicators are used not only for GSIB designation or a higher surcharge, but also for categorizing U.S. and foreign banks for other purposes and thus would also bring some banking organizations into categories subject to very strict prudential standards.  The Board estimates that the overall impact of the changes to the surcharge and risk-scoring methodology are small and, regardless, warranted to enhance systemic resilience and consistency.  It also estimates that the interaction of this new approach with certain liquidity and TLAC standards is generally minimal.  However, the Fed has not assessed the relationship of scoring revisions to one way to calculate the GSIB charges, nor does the Board assess the cumulative impact of all of the changes proposed here in concert with its sweeping revisions to U.S. capital rules for all banking organizations with assets over $100 billion.  It is also unclear how these changes in concert with all the others interact with the stress capital buffer applicable to large U.S.-domiciled banking organizations…

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

22 08, 2023

GSIB22

2023-08-22T10:19:26-04:00August 22nd, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

GSIB Surcharge

As anticipated in the wake of recent bank failures, the FRB has proposed a significant revision to the current rules calculating systemic-risk scores that lead to GSIB designation.  These indicators are used not only for GSIB designation or a higher surcharge, but also for categorizing U.S. and foreign banks for other purposes and thus would also bring some banking organizations into categories subject to very strict prudential standards.  The Board estimates that the overall impact of the changes to the surcharge and risk-scoring methodology are small and, regardless, warranted to enhance systemic resilience and consistency.  It also estimates that the interaction of this new approach with certain liquidity and TLAC standards is generally minimal.  However, the Fed has not assessed the relationship of scoring revisions to one way to calculate the GSIB charges, nor does the Board assess the cumulative impact of all of the changes proposed here in concert with its sweeping revisions to U.S. capital rules for all banking organizations with assets over $100 billion.  It is also unclear how these changes in concert with all the others interact with the stress capital buffer applicable to large U.S.-domiciled banking organizations.  Despite the Fed’s conclusions, it seems likely that the total impact will be considerable in light of methodological problems in this proposal as well as those FedFin identified with the impact analysis for the capital rewrite.

GSIB22.pdf

17 08, 2023

CAPITAL234

2023-08-17T15:22:40-04:00August 17th, 2023|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: What the Agencies Think the Rules Will do and Why Much of That is Wrong

With this report, we conclude our assessment of the regulatory-capital proposal with analysis of what the sum total of the credit (see FSM Report CAPITAL231), operational (see FSM Report OPSRISK22), and market (see FSM Report CAPITAL233) rules could do in the real world of banks, nonbanks, foreign banks, and complex market interconnections.  Our first assessment of the proposal’s framework (see FSM Report CAPITAL230) provided the agencies’ quantitative-impact statement (QIS).  Here, we evaluate the QIS, expand on the agencies’ qualitative conclusions, and add our own assessment of what might actually happen in the face of these sometimes-contradictory capital incentives.

CAPITAL234.pdf

9 08, 2023

FINTECH32

2023-08-09T15:04:49-04:00August 9th, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

Novel-Activity Supervision

FRB Vice Chairman Barr’s assessment of SVB’s failure included a commitment to pay additional supervisory attention to “novel” activities.  New supervisory “information” from the Federal Reserve now acts on this conclusion, creating what is described as a new supervisory program and stating explicitly that the Board will assess certain BHC and state member bank tech-focused activities.  The standards by which this is done are not made clear even though all but the stablecoin activities cited here are under way in varying forms at state member banks and BHCs.

FINTECH32.pdf

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