#cryptocurrency

2 02, 2024

DAILY020224

2024-02-02T16:21:33-05:00February 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Powell, Hsu Add to Pressure on SEC Crypto-Custody Standards

As we noted yesterday, Congressional Republicans are now mounting a Congressional Review Act effort to repeal the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (see FSM Report CUSTODY5) requiring balance-sheet recognition of crypto-custody deposits at considerable cost to banking institutions.

Trump to Dump Powell

As we expected, Donald Trump today said that, if elected, he will not reappoint Jerome Powell.  This decision will not present itself to the next president until Mr. Powell’s term ends in January of 2026, but we do not think either of the candidates is likely to reappoint Mr. Powell should he seek a third term.

GOP Bill Challenges Capital Proposal

Echoing long-held concerns of other HFSC Republicans, Rep. Ogles (R-TN) along with Rep. Donalds (R-FL) have introduced legislation (H.R. 7143) forcing regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Senate Presses for Anti-Hungary Sanctions

In a statement that may lead financial institutions to review their exposures, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Cardin (D-MD) called on the Biden Administration to consider sanctions against Hungary due to its government’s refusal until late yesterday to support EU efforts for Ukraine and its broadly anti-democratic program in general and with specific regard to pressuring the U.S. and its ambassador to Hungary.

HFSC Republicans Take Another Shot at FDIC

Continuing their campaign against FDIC Chair Gruenberg, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) along with Subcommittee Chairs Barr (R-KY) and Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to the FDIC questioning …

23 01, 2024

DAILY012324

2024-01-23T16:37:28-05:00January 23rd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Tries to Block Libra Redux

Reflecting long-held Democratic concerns over Big Tech’s crypto plans, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) late yesterday sent a letter to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerburg and COO Javier Olivan once again raising strong objections to Meta’s potential expansion into digital assets.  The letter highlights that several of the company’s recent patent applications relate to digital-asset services and blockchain technology, seemingly contradicting Meta’s recent assertions to HFSC Democrats that it is not working in this arena.

Daily012324.pdf

11 12, 2023

Daily121123

2023-12-11T16:51:51-05:00December 11th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Broadens Illicit Finance Scope to CRE, Investment Advisors

In connection with an order sanctioning two Afghanis for transnational corruption, Treasury and FinCEN today issued a fact sheet on actions under way to address corruption and other illicit transactions.

White House Threatens Veto on Bill Curtailing OCC, Other Agencies

The House Rules Committee is expected today to clear H.R. 357 for floor action as soon as tomorrow, prompting the White House to issue a veto threat.

Warren Presses Case for Crypto Standards in NDAA

Strengthening her position ahead of a fight with HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) over crypto provisions in the NDAA, Sen. Warren (D-MA) today announced that Sens. Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Luján (D-NM) alongside Senate Banking Committee members Warnock (D-GA), Butler (D-CA), and Van Hollen (D-MD) joined Sen. Warren and 14 other Senators as co-sponsors of the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act.

CGFS Wants LTV-Related Capital Rules Adjusted to Reflect House Prices

Reviewing the link between housing finance and systemic risk, the BIS Committee on the Global Financial System’s report today focused on the need for automatic stabilizers that provide macroprudential controls in this high-risk sector.

Daily121123.pdf

29 11, 2023

DAILY112923

2023-11-29T16:51:26-05:00November 29th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FDIC’s OIG Presses for Non-Capital PCA Triggers, Additional Supervisory Reform

The FDIC’s OIG report on First Republic’s failure is at least as scathing as its SBNY post-mortem.

Treasury Launches Anti-Crypto Enforcement Campaign

In remarks today from Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, Treasury officially launched its anti-crypto sanctions and AML campaign.

Basel Proposes Sweeping Climate-Risk Disclosure Standards

Following the FSB’s finding that most banks were failing to provide meaningful climate disclosures, the Basel Committee today issued proposed climate-risk disclosure standards.

3Q Report Highlights AOCI Risk

The FDIC’s 3Q banking-condition report includes a stunning 22.5 percent rise in the total of HTM and AFS unrealized losses, which now stand at $683.9 billion.

Senate Banking Opens Private-Credit Inquiry

Senate Banking Chair Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Reed (D-RI) today asked FRB Vice Chair Barr, Acting Comptroller Hsu, and FDIC Chair Gruenberg to look into the risks private credit poses to the banking system.

Daily112923.pdf

31 10, 2023

DAILY103123

2023-10-31T17:02:58-04:00October 31st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC GOP Turns to Merger-Policy Demands

Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) and Rep. Fitzgerald (R-WI) last night sent the federal banking-agency heads a stiff letter demanding to know when they plan finally to issue the long-promised bank-merger policy following public notice and comment.

China Leads New BIS CBDC Pilot

In a new CBDC project sponsored by the BIS’s Innovation Hub, central banks either directly associated with China or within its ambit will focus on multi-CBDC wholesale cross-border payments.

White House, Labor Turn to Retirement Advice “Junk Fees”

Building on its “junk-fee” initiative, the White House today expanded Obama-era “best-interest” standards to retirement advisers to close what it believes are loopholes in the SEC’s jurisdiction under its broker-dealer best-interest standard.

BIS CPMI: Even Sound Stablecoins May Not Be Worth the Effort

A new report from the BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures finds that properly designed and regulated stablecoins could improve cross-border payments by increasing speed and transparency while lowering costs, especially in emerging markets and developing economies.

GAO Vacates Key SEC Crypto Ruling

The GAO today released a report finding that the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (SAB) 121 is a rule subject to the Congressional Review Act, throwing a key Gensler anti-crypto ruling into immediate ineffectiveness and an uncertain future.

Daily103123.pdf

27 10, 2023

Al103023

2023-10-27T17:00:24-04:00October 27th, 2023|3- This Week|

Take a Deep Breath

But don’t relax too much as newly-minted Speaker Johnson (R-LA) figures out what he’s going to do with the gavel now that he’s got it.  The House has barely three weeks to see if unanimity holds and a shutdown is avoided in favor of yet another can-kicking continuing resolution.  Regardless, with HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) happily freed of his Speaker Pro Tem assignment, HFSC will this week (see below) return to the high-impact hearing schedule if was forced to cancel during the speakership battle, move a raft of bills through mark-up, and work hard to put Mr. McHenry’s plans to realign crypto jurisdiction into must-pass legislation if the House agrees (likely) and the Senate doesn’t object (far less certain).  Among the bills to be marked up and those on the Senate’s agenda will surely be measures reviewed at last week’s Senate Banking hearing to ensure Treasury is super-tough when it comes to Iran and Hamas.  Secondary sanctions are in the works, putting any financial institution doing business in the U.S. on notice that offshore activities so far out of law-enforcement’s reach are about to come in range.  And, if that’s not enough, then there’s all the regulatory action.

Al103023.pdf

26 10, 2023

DAILY102623

2023-10-26T16:48:48-04:00October 26th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Banking Focuses on Rapid-Fire Administration Action to Sanction Iran, Curb Hamas, Govern Crypto

Today’s Senate Banking Hearing on Illicit Finance and Terrorism showcased continued bipartisan support for stronger Iranian sanctions as well as for secondary sanctions on traditional financial institutions and cryptoasset firms facilitating terrorism.  In addition to highlighting their bipartisan measure targeting DeFi-related money laundering and sanctions evasion, Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Warner (D-VA) noted that they are working on a bill that would apply secondary sanctions on banks and DeFi entities that transact with foreign parties that facilitate terrorist financing.

Bipartisan Small-Business Leadership Opens New End-Game Front

Opening a new front of Congressional concern about the capital proposal’s credit impacts, House Small Business Economic Growth Subcommittee Chairman Meuser (R-PA) along with Ranking Member Landsman (D-OH) and two others today sent a letter to FRB Chairman Powell and Vice Chair Barr “imploring” them to commission a comprehensive review of the capital proposal’s effects on small business lending.  They also ask that all the agencies counteract any negative repercussions of the proposal, noting that this might entail significantly easing capital requirements.

Daily102623.pdf

23 10, 2023

DAILY102323

2023-10-23T16:37:02-04:00October 23rd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Plans Fintech-Friendly Legislation

Wednesday’s HFSC Digital Assets Subcommittee hearing on electronic payments will consider the state of various electronic payments offerings and lay the groundwork for several GOP measures to override current standards or give providers greater leeway.  As a result, these bills are unlikely to advance in the Senate.  Measures to be covered include a bill to be introduced by Rep. Steil (R-WI) to create a federal framework for the earned-wage lending programs the CFPB has recently criticized.

HFSC Plans Sanctions Review

As anticipated, Wednesday’s HFSC National Security hearing on Middle East sanctions will consider an array of bills designed to punish Iran, sanction Hamas, and – at least as far as Republicans plan – criticize the Biden Administration for actions such as agreeing to release $6 billion to Iran in exchange for several hostages.  We have noted many of the bills on which a record will be built in prior client alerts, with the panel planning for example to advance H.R. 5923, a Lawler (R-NY) bill to extend current secondary sanctions related to Iran to all transactions with Chinese financial institutions and sanctioned Iranian banks related to oil purchases.

Daily102323.pdf

19 10, 2023

DAILY101923

2023-10-19T16:30:42-04:00October 19th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

OIG Blasts FDIC’s Crypto-Policy Delay

Late yesterday, the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report critical of the FDIC’s supervisory crypto policy.

Fed May Signal Possible Compromise as GOP Barr Demands Capital Answers

Amid press reports that Chair Powell has implicitly promised capital-rule compromise, HFSC Financial Institutions Chair Barr (R-KY) released a letter today pressing Vice Chair Barr still harder on the cost-benefit analytical (CBA) and cumulative-impact issues raised at the September hearing at which Karen Petrou testified.

Fed Data Show Increases in Household Financial Resilience, Profound Home-Affordability Gap

The Federal Reserve yesterday released its triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF).  As always, we here highlight data with financial-policy implications; Petrou blogs and other releases will update economic-equality indicators.

BIS Head Calls for Review of Large Bank Supervision

BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens today said that the mid-March failures show the need for nations to review how they supervise larger banks, specifically highlighting liquidity risk and setting frameworks for emergency liquidity assistance.

OCC Analysis Shows Broad IRR Resilience With Startling Risk Pockets

Showing some pockets of severe risk but overall resilience, the OCC today released a statistical analysis of interest rate risk based on projected changes in twelve-month net interest income as well as the economic value of equity in parallel interest rate shock scenarios ranging from -200 basis points to +400 bps.

CFPB Thinks Big on Open Banking

As anticipated, the CFPB today advanced from a review of consumer data rights (see FSM Report

5 10, 2023

DAILY100523

2023-10-05T16:36:40-04:00October 5th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Kanter, Khan Mount Stout Defense of Draft Merger Guidelines

FTC Chair Khan and DOJ Assistant AG Kanter today defended the agencies’ draft merger guidelines (see FSM Report MERGER12) on grounds that they are faithful to congressional intent, reflect core legal principles, are more accessible and easier to apply, and better reflect the modern competitive landscape.

Basel Plans NBFI Ops-Risk Supervisory Standards, Continuing Review of Bank Supervision, New Disclosures

The Basel Committee today released its long-awaited report on 2023 vulnerabilities, deciding based on it to prioritize new supervisory approaches and additional analytical tools.

Bipartisan Bill Provides Transaction Account Deposit Insurance

Following Chairman Gruenberg’s remarks yesterday highlighting targeted deposit insurance reform, Sens. Manchin (D-WV), Braun (R-SD), and Hickenlooper (D-CO) yesterday introduced legislation to reinstate the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program, expanding deposit insurance to non-interest bearing transaction accounts up to $10 million.

FDIC Proposes Public-Good Policy for IDI Corporate Governance

The FDIC today announced the Board’s 3-2 approval of an NPR establishing guidelines on corporate governance and risk management for FDIC-supervised IDIs with over $10 billion in assets.

Daily100523.pdf

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