#Blumenthal

16 04, 2024

DAILY041624

2024-04-16T17:10:39-04:00April 16th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

House GOP Takes on New Merger Guidelines

The House Small Business Committee today sent a GOP letter to the FTC and Justice Department  strongly protesting new merger guidelines (see FSM Report MERGER13) on grounds that they sharply curtail needed small-business capital.

House Hikes Iran Sanctions

Working through a series of sanctions bills in the wake of recent geopolitical developments, the House yesterday voted 294-105 to advance H.R. 5921, a bill introduced by Rep. Huizenga (R-MI) that prohibits Treasury from authorizing transactions by U.S. financial institutions in connection with Iranian imports or exports other than food, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance.

House Passes Bill Targeting China-Iran Petroleum Trade

Continuing its response to recent geopolitical events, the House yesterday voted by a 383-11 margin to pass H.R. 5923, a bill from Reps. Lawler (R-NY) and Gottheimer (D-NJ) that would require the President to periodically determine if any Chinese financial institutions have purchased petroleum or petroleum products from Iran, stating that U.S. financial institutions also may not open or maintain certain accounts with Chinese institutions that have done so.

Warren Again Targets OCC Merger Decisions

Continuing recent attacks on the OCC’s approach to mergers, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) yesterday sent a letter to Acting Comptroller Hsu sharply criticizing the agency’s decision first to allow NYCB to acquire Flagstar bank and then do the same shortly thereafter for Signature.

OCC Toughens LCR, NSFR via New Reporting Requirements

The OCC today sought public comment as required by law for …

7 09, 2023

DAILY090723

2023-09-07T16:43:25-04:00September 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB-IMF Report Lays Out Crypto-Policy Roadmap

The FSB and IMF today published a joint report synthesizing their policy and regulatory recommendations for cryptoassets, laying out a policy roadmap that breaks no new ground.

Senate Dems Try Again to End State Usury Ceilings

Senate Majority Whip Durbin (D-IL) yesterday introduced another effort (S. 2730) to impose a federal usury ceiling.

NGFS Warns Ecological Risk Could Be Systemic

The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) today released a report on nature-related financial risk concluding that ecological risk transmission could cause contagion leading to systemic risk.

CFPB Soon to Advance Its Open-Banking Construct

CFPB Director Chopra today announced that the CFPB will be issuing proposed rules next month to reactivate its DFA consumer data rights powers (see FSM Report DATA3).

Global Securities Regulators Craft DeFi Standards

IOSCO today released a DeFi consultation report proposing nine policy recommendations intended to support heightened regulatory consistency and oversight.

Waters Presses Agencies to Change SSN Collection Requirements

HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) today wrote to the leadership of the banking agencies, Treasury, and FinCEN asking them to consider allowing financial institutions only to collect a SSN’s last four digits to minimize cybersecurity risks.

Fed Staff Suggest Solution to CBDC Privacy Problem

Addressing one of the biggest CBDC challenges in the U.S., Fed staff today published a report arguing that the use of privacy-enhancing technologies preserves digital asset user confidentiality while maintaining enough visibility for official audits in order to prevent illicit finance.

Daily090723.pdf

30 03, 2023

DAILY033023

2023-03-30T17:27:30-04:00March 30th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Yellen Calls for Bank, Nonbank Regulatory Rewrite

Implicitly confirming press reports that the White House will soon press for tougher bank rules, Treasury Secretary Yellen today said that, as beneficial as the rules imposed since the great financial crisis have been, more stringent standards are necessary.

Hsu Sets Dual OCC Mission: Safety, Fairness

In remarks today, Acting Comptroller Hsu emphatically echoed statements of other top regulators that the banking system is safe and sound, emphasizing that the OCC is monitoring the market and is prepared to use its tools to protect the system.

Basel Updates Global Liquidity, Operational Standards

Although the U.S. has still not even proposed the Basel IV “end-game” standards, the Basel Committee continues to refine them and today issued its latest set of FAQs.

White House Sets Reg-Reform Agenda

As anticipated early this morning, the White House has issued a statement calling on federal banking agencies to roll back rules the President describes as weakening “common-sense bank safety and supervision.”

Senate Dems Press Agencies to Strengthen Capital Rules

Following this week’s hearings (see Client Report REFORM218), Sens. Warren (D-MA), Blumenthal (D-CT), and Duckworth (D-IL) sent a letter to Vice Chair Barr, Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu urging them to strengthen large-bank capital requirements.

CFPB Stands By Its Small-Business Reporting Rules

Despite strong industry and GOP opposition, the CFPB today finalized its small business data collection rulemaking in a sweeping final rule the Bureau says will increase transparency in small business lending, promote economic …

27 03, 2023

M032723

2023-03-27T10:27:26-04:00March 27th, 2023|6- Client Memo|

Another SVB Casualty:  U.S. Biomedical Research

As seems always the case when fear has the banking system in its maw, myths have proliferated that are now also magnified and amplified by viral social media.  One such myth about Silicon Valley Bank has it that most of its depositors were high-wealth, high-tech folk whom the government should never bail out.  In fact, many depositors had no choice but to park all their funds at SVB, a more-then-dubious practice at the bank that almost brought biomedical research to its knees.  Had these depositors been forced to bear losses, treatments and cures for life-threatening and-changing diseases would have stalled, likely for years.  We need not only to prevent future researchers from being put at such risk by a single bank, but also to change the biomedical-funding model from one at the mercy of high-cost equity investors to a stable sector for which lower-cost debt is readily at hand for any researcher with demonstrable ability to repay.  Think what debt funding did for sustainable energy via green bonds and you’ll see what a like-kind model for “biobonds” could do to speed urgently-needed treatments and cures.

M032723.pdf

27 03, 2023

Karen Petrou: Another SVB Casualty:  U.S. Biomedical Research

2023-03-27T10:27:35-04:00March 27th, 2023|The Vault|

As seems always the case when fear has the banking system in its maw, myths have proliferated that are now also magnified and amplified by viral social media.  One such myth about Silicon Valley Bank has it that most of its depositors were high-wealth, high-tech folk whom the government should never bail out.  In fact, many depositors had no choice but to park all their funds at SVB, a more-then-dubious practice at the bank that almost brought biomedical research to its knees.  Had these depositors been forced to bear losses, treatments and cures for life-threatening and-changing diseases would have stalled, likely for years.  We need not only to prevent future researchers from being put at such risk by a single bank, but also to change the biomedical-funding model from one at the mercy of high-cost equity investors to a stable sector for which lower-cost debt is readily at hand for any researcher with demonstrable ability to repay.  Think what debt funding did for sustainable energy via green bonds and you’ll see what a like-kind model for “biobonds” could do to speed urgently-needed treatments and cures.

The link between SVB and biomedical research is not the stuff of moral-hazard myth, but rather a complex tale of a specialized institution serving a sector that came to hold unique sway over a vital public good:  lengthening life and easing suffering.  Providing banking services to venture capital (VC) is a high-risk business unless a financial institution devotes expensive intellectual capital to the sector and …

15 03, 2023

DAILY031523

2023-03-15T16:58:30-04:00March 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Reiterates ICE/BKI Opposition

HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) released a statement today applauding the FTC’s move to block Intercontinental Exchange from acquiring the mortgage software company Black Knight.

Progressives Press For Tailoring Redo

Cementing prior denouncements of 2018 Dodd-Frank “rollbacks” into legislative action, 17 Democratic senators and 31 House Members today took direct aim at Trump-era banking policy by introducing legislation that would repeal Title IV of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

Bowman Presses Small-Bank Mergers, Climate Caution, Third-Party Guardrails

In remarks today, FRB Governor Bowman noted that delays in merger reviews cause significant operational and reputational risks and suggested considering all competitors when evaluating a small bank merger’s competitive effect to reduce delays.

New CFPB RFI Brings Data Brokers Under Scrutiny

Ahead of a planned rulemaking, the CFPB today released an RFI seeking comments on the business practices of data brokers, focusing on new business models to determine if certain practices fall under the scope of FCRA.

Warren, Blumenthal Call on DOJ, SEC to Investigate SVB

Although media reports indicate that an investigation is already under way, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter today to Attorney General Garland and SEC Chairman Gensler urging them to investigate senior SVB officials if they are not already doing so.

FHFA Delays New DTI-Based Upfront Fee

Following an announcement this January that FHFA would implement changes to Fannie and Freddie’s single-family pricing framework, Director Thompson today announced that the Agency will delay the effective …

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