#Brown

20 02, 2024

DAILY022024

2024-02-20T17:06:56-05:00February 20th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Fails to Muster Meaningful Democratic Capital-Proposal Protest

Late Friday, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) released another letter from Democrats protecting the pending capital proposals.

Fed Study: CBDC Impact on Dollar Dominance, Payment System Depends on Many Decisions

A new Fed staff study finds that a U.S. CBDC would have only a marginal impact on the dollar’s role as the reserve currency and within the payment system, although this conclusion depends on a raft of decisions now being made about other CBDCs and the cross-border payment system.

Sanders Targets BlackRock’s Market Power

We will shortly provide clients with an update on Congressional reaction to the C1/Discover merger earlier today, but here draw client attention to a new letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sure also to be among the credit-card consolidation’s fiercest critics.

Brown Presses Powell for Enforceable Ethics Standards

Senate Banking Chair Brown today renewed his campaign against Fed conflict-of-interest policies, sending another letter to Chair Powell arguing that the Fed’s recent internal-investment and ethics standards are unenforceable.

Initial Response to C1/Discover Merger Starts M&A Debate

With Congress in recess, political response to the Capital One/Discover merger has been muted in terms of sparse comments, but fiery when it comes to Sen. Warren (D-MA).

Daily022024.pdf

15 02, 2024

DAILY021524

2024-02-15T17:13:22-05:00February 15th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Focuses on Inclusive Cross-Border Payments

FRB Gov. Bowman today emphasized that national and global payment-system improvements must not only work for the financial system and payment providers, but also for end-users and broader inclusive growth.  This is a policy challenge that, she said, cannot be resolved only by technology.

Senate Dems Resume Attack on Zelle

Retreating from his stand during a recent hearing that seemed to absolve Zelle (see Client Report PAYMENT28), Senate Banking Chairman Brown, (D-OH) along with Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Reed (D-RI), today sent a letter reiterating calls for Zelle to clarify its reimbursement policy for impostor scams.  The letter also demands that Zelle revise its reimbursement policy to cover other scams and to and streamline its reporting process, demanding a new public commitment to doing so.

Waller Sees Impregnable Dollar Dominance

FRB Gov. Waller today mounted a strong defense not only of the dollar as the globe’s reserve currency under current conditions, but also even as digital currencies become more widely deployed.  This stand is consistent with those at the FRB opposing proposals in Congress to advance a CBDC on grounds that it is essential to preserve reserve-currency status (see FSM Report CBDC10) and signals no interest in the U.S. central bank to making any other payment-system changes to press sanctions policy with the dollar’s dominance in mind.

Daily021524.pdf

30 01, 2024

DAILY013024

2024-01-30T17:13:26-05:00January 30th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

FinCEN Estimates High Bank-BOI Reporting Costs

FinCEN via the Federal Register today requested comment on the estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden for new Access Rule beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirements (see FSM Report AML135).

Brown Puts More Pressure on Powell

Following Sen. Warren’s rate-cut demands and affordable housing concerns yesterday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to FRB Chair Powell also calling for less restrictive monetary policy on grounds that elevated rates negatively impact home affordability, limit the housing supply, restrict small business growth, and dampen wages.

HFSC Targets China Sanctions, Outbound Investments

Today’s HFSC National Security Subcommittee Hearing focused on China sanctions and restrictions on outbound investments.

GOP Demands Retraction of CFPB Tech-Payment Proposal

Reiterating their opposition to the Bureau’s pending digital-payment rule (see FSM Report PAYMENT27), HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) alongside Digital Assets Subcommittee Chairman Hill (R-AR) and Rep. Flood (R-NE) sent a letter today urging the CFPB to reopen and extend the comment period and reconsider finalizing the rule as proposed.

Daily013024.pdf

26 01, 2024

Al012624

2024-01-26T16:10:55-05:00January 26th, 2024|3- This Week|

Here We Go Again

Late last week, Bloomberg reported that the same kind of interest-bearing stablecoin products that wreaked havoc in 2023 and even some that purport to offer checking accounts are proliferating again with kudzu’s tenacity.  Offshore trading volumes for stablecoins grew 28 percent to almost touch $1 trillion at the end of last year, a move said to be bolstered by larger reserve assets at the largest stablecoin issuers.  The problem is that other than the case-by-case enforcement actions that drove this market offshore, there is still no U.S. law or rule to protect investors and, as stablecoins head over the $1 trillion hump, also the financial system.  Will that change this year?

Al012924.pdf

19 01, 2024

Al012224

2024-01-19T16:12:35-05:00January 19th, 2024|3- This Week|

Keep Those Cards and Letters… 

Although the comment deadline on the capital standards (see FSM Report CAPITAL230) closed last Tuesday, Members of Congress viewed that deadline with the same insouciance they adopt for keeping the federal government open.  That is, they got around to it when they felt like it.  As a result, letters on the capital rule keep coming in and FedFin analyses keep sending you summaries of each of their key points.  As Karen Petrou’s Monday memo will lay out, the most surprising aspect of most of the letters from Democrats is how guardedly they express support for the capital proposal.

Al012224.pdf

19 01, 2024

Daily-011924

2024-01-19T16:07:07-05:00January 19th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing, Uncategorized|

Bipartisan House Letter Slams Basel Proposal’s Capital Markets Impact

Following up on our analyses yesterday of Congressional pressure on the banking agencies, we here turn to a bipartisan letter from 15 Members of the House led by Capital Markets Subcommittee Ranking Member Sherman (D-CA) and Subcommittee Chair Wagner (R-MO) warning the agencies of the proposal’s adverse capital-markets impact.

Brown Leads Campaign for Strong End-Game Standards

The first unequivocal expressions of support for the capital rules from key Members we have found came today from Banking Committee Chairman Brown (D-OH) and eleven Senate Democrats.

Banking Agencies Seek NBFI Data from FBOs

The OCC, FRB, and FDIC today requested comment on a proposal to gather more granular information on call reports filed by FBOs related to loans and lease receivables.

GOP Leadership Reignites “Operation Chokepoint” Concerns

Reigniting GOP concerns about “Operation Chokepoint” political regulation, Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen and FinCEN Director Gacki raising concerns that Treasury urged banks to surveil customers’ transaction-level data using what he calls politically-charged search terms such as “Trump” and “MAGA” as well as merchant category codes to detect activity such as legal firearm purchases.

Daily011924.pdf

17 01, 2024

DAILY011724

2024-01-17T16:21:16-05:00January 17th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Tries to Bring Overdraft Fees Under New Benchmark

Arguing that overdraft fees are a big-bank “junk-fee harvesting machine,” CFPB Director Chopra today released a long-awaited proposal to cap fees to what the agency considers a reasonable threshold.

Bowman Expands Basel Critique, Key Dem Now Points to Problems

In remarks today, FRB Gov. Bowman did not go quite as far as her colleague Chris Waller yesterday, but she nonetheless urged that the end-game rules be re-proposed after comments are taken into account.

Senate Banking GOP Again Urges Capital Proposal Withdrawal

Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) along with all Committee Republicans late yesterday sent a letter to FRB Chair Powell, FDIC Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu once again calling on the regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Biden, Brown Praise CFPB Overdraft Proposal

Following the CFPB’s announcement of its proposed rule regarding overdraft fees today, President Biden again denounced “junk fees” as “exploitation,” and included the CFPB’s proposal in his administration’s efforts to lower costs for American consumers.

FRB/FDIC Provide Limited-Time Resolution-Plan Filing Flexibility

Reflecting a problem we identified in our assessment of the resolution-plan proposal (see FSM Report LIVINGWILL22), the FRB and FDIC today extended the resolution plan submission deadline for categories II and III banks from July 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025.

Global Regulators Turn to OTC-Derivative Margin Improvement

Following yesterday’s release with the CPMI focused on CCPs and clearing members, the Basel Committee and IOSCO today …

22 12, 2023

DAILY122223

2023-12-29T10:01:49-05:00December 22nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

President Imposes Sweeping Secondary Sanctions

Responding to ongoing evidence that sanctions are not working as hoped despite recent Treasury assurances they are, the President today issued a sweeping executive order and Treasury laid out secondary sanctions for financial institutions found to facilitate Russian Federation finances related to its “war machine.”  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of these actions which pose significant threats to dollar-clearing access for financial institutions that have so far been largely outside the reach of existing sanctions.

Treasury Requests Feedback for Financial Inclusion Strategy

Following a statutory directive, Treasury today issued an RFI to develop a national strategy for financial inclusion.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth report on the RFI.  Noting significant disparities in banking-system access for LMI, low-wealth, Black, and Hispanic households as well as discrepancies in rates of stock and business ownership between white, Black, and Hispanic households, the RFI invites recommendations for policy, government programs, financial products, technology, and other tools and market infrastructure.

Brown Prioritizes Housing, ILC Bill, AI in 2024

The Senate Banking Committee today released its policy outlook entering 2024 prioritizing affordable housing, enacting the ILC-powers bill (see FSM Report ILC17), and AI financial-sector policy (likely here picking up the Warner-Kennedy bill we will shortly assess in depth).

Daily122223.pdf

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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 …

14 12, 2023

DAILY121423

2023-12-15T17:22:54-05:00December 14th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Top Senate Democrats Heighten Payment App Scrutiny

Continuing to shift their focus from Zelle to payment-service providers, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) along with Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Warren (D-MA) today sent letters to Paypal and CashApp urging them to adopt new scam-reimbursement policies.

Treasury Defends Russian Sanctions, Economic-Warfare Clout

Facing increasing assertions that U.S.-led sanctions are not meaningfully affecting Russia, Treasury today issued a blog stoutly defending sanctions effectiveness.

Reed Presses OFR to Subpoena Shadow-Bank Data

The principal sponsor of the Dodd-Frank provisions creating the Office of Financial Research, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), today defended the agency on grounds that it lacks a confirmed director, promising to push the appointment on the floor as quickly as possible.

Basel Targets Stablecoin Reserve-Asset Risk

Moving forward with “targeted” changes to current standards, the Basel Committee today outlined revisions to its crypto standards with significant practical implications.

Liang Disputes Over-Arching Need for New AI Regs

Treasury Under Secretary Liang today argued that AI is not fundamentally different than other financial innovations and is already subject to existing consumer-protection, safety-and-soundness, illicit-finance, and financial-stability guardrails.

FRB-NY Official Highlights AI Promise, Problems, Policy Action

Summarizing a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York AI conference, the Bank’s chief risk officer, Mihaela Nistor, concluded that AI can now identify GSIB and GSIFI risk due to its ability to detect tail behavior not now captured by relevant models.

Democrats Urge CFPB to Take Second Stand Against Forced Arbitration

Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Sanders (I-VT) were today …

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