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2 12, 2022

DAILY120222

2022-12-02T16:51:39-05:00December 2nd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Menendez Blasts FRB-Chicago Choice

Continuing his campaign for increased diversity and transparency at the Federal Reserve, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued a fiery statement criticizing the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s decision to name a non-Latino president.

Fed Revises PSR to Prepare for FedNow

The FRB today finalized changes to its Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR) to expand access to collateralized intraday credit.  These reduce the administrative steps associated with requesting collateralized capacity, action the Fed says would improve intraday liquidity management and payment flows while also assisting the Reserve Banks managing intraday credit risk.

GOP Expands CBDC Attack to Project Hamilton

Readying an inquiry intended to block CBDC when the GOP takes over the house next year, Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and six other HFSC Republicans sent a letter to FRB Boston President Susan Collins demanding answers to allegations that private companies are abusing their work on Project Hamilton to position themselves for product sales to financial companies once a CBDC begins.

Fed Finally Outs Climate-Risk Principles

As long anticipated and likely late on Friday in hopes of avoiding critical GOP scrutiny, the Federal Reserve Board today released proposed climate-risk principles.  These are “high-level” as is also the case for global edicts in this contentious arena (see FSM Report CLIMATE14), also tracking the OCC’s longstanding like-kind proposal (see FSM Report GREEN12).

Daily120222.pdf

1 12, 2022

DAILY120122

2022-12-01T17:57:37-05:00December 1st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FDIC, FRB-NY Highlight AOCI Losses

In remarks accompanying the banking-sector 3Q report, Acting FDIC Chairman Gruenberg noted that unrealized losses on AFS/HTM securities now total $690 billion, up 47 percent from just the second quarter.  This issue is also highlighted in remarks today from the head of supervision at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but neither she nor Mr. Gruenberg indicates if the agencies plan any action in this arena.

Brown Talks Civil Rights, GOP Attacks CFPB

Although Chairman Brown (D-OH) used today’s Fair Lending hearing to renew discussion of his 2020 legislation bringing financial institutions under the Civil Rights Act (see FSM Report FAIRLEND9), most of the focus at the session was on the CFPB.

House Panel Blasts Fintech PPP Practices, Seeks Investigation

A new report from the Select Committee on the Coronavirus investigating the role of fintechs in PPP fraud concludes that fintechs failed to implement appropriate oversight and fraud-prevention strategies despite accruing “massive” profits from administration fees.

Barr Talks Even Tougher on Bank Capital Rewrite

Although Vice Chairman Barr today confirmed statements to the Senate Banking Committee (see Client Report REFORM214) that his holistic-capital review is under way without any immediate conclusions, he also emphasized that it will ensure that ample capitalization is sufficient for severe stress and creates incentives for prudent lending.  Current capital levels are, he said, at the low end of what research suggests they should be.

Daily120122.pdf

29 11, 2022

DAILY112922

2022-11-30T11:20:13-05:00November 29th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Finalizes Revisions to Interchange Survey

After finalizing a controversial proposal opening up debit-card routing (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE11), the FRB has also set changes to reporting on interchange-fees proposed in July.  The final requirements track the proposal, gathering data now on reporting changes when multiple networks are involved in processing transactions as well as revising the survey to prevent overcounting certain transactions.

Senate Finance Chair Challenges Crypto-Exchange Conduct

Continuing Congressional pressure on crypto following FTX’s collapse, Senate Finance Chairman Wyden (D-OR) today sent six letters to some of the largest crypto exchanges to determine if the factors leading to FTX’s collapse are widespread.  It is unclear what Sen. Wyden intends to do with the information he requests given that his panel does not have jurisdiction over the conflicts of interest and related concerns he cites, but it can surely call hearings and at the least build a record for the kind of legislation Mr. Wyden may support.

Daily112922.pdf

28 11, 2022

DAILY112822

2022-11-28T16:52:04-05:00November 28th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Staff Paper Counters CBDC First-Mover Arguments

Supporting the Fed’s decision not to move quickly on CBDC (see FSM Report CBDC10), a new Fed staff paper found little evidence of any national first-mover advantages, running counter to many lawmakers’ concerns about the US falling behind China or Europe (see Client Report CBDC13).  The paper argues that the speed of technological innovation, the ability of large economies to dictate technology standards, and the ability of subsequent movers to improve on the design of first movers minimizes any early advantages gained in international payments.  It also reiterates the Fed’s view that the dollar’s position as the global reserve currency is not at risk, citing the slow nature of historical financial transitions.

Basel Turns Focus To NBFI Interconnectedness, Leverage-Ratio Risk

Continuing the global-regulatory focus on nonbank financial intermediation (see Client Report NBFI2), the Basel Committee last week concluded that continued NBFI sector growth poses financial-stability concerns and highlighted interconnectedness risks and inadequate management practices.  Specific concerns center on due-diligence failures, margining practices, and limit frameworks.  The Committee also identifies regulatory arbitrage regarding the leverage ratio, providing no explanation of what this might entail.  Additional areas of concern include NBFI counterparty exposure through derivatives and securities financing, leveraged lending, prime brokerage, and cryptoasset services.

Daily112822.pdf

23 11, 2022

DAILY112322

2022-11-23T12:42:48-05:00November 23rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

OFAC Updates Guidance For Price-Cap Sanction Compliance

Reflecting ongoing negotiations about the level of the oil-price cap, OFAC last night provided updated guidance to banks and insurers about when transactions may violate this latest sanction.  The new guidance identifies “covered services” for financing; this means a commitment for the provision or disbursement of debt, equity, or economic resources related to the maritime transport of Russian oil.  However, and as before, U.S. persons are authorized to provide covered services if the Russian oil is purchased at or below the price cap.

FDIC Signals Tougher GSIB Resolution Reviews

With the FDIC signaling a tough new approach to resolution plan approval, the FRB and FDIC today announced the results of the resolution plans filed by U.S. GSIBs in July, 2021.  All the banking organizations saw their plans approved except for Citigroup, which had noted shortcomings due to data quality and management concerns; the bank now has until January 31, 2023 to submit a revised plan.  FDIC Acting Chairman Gruenberg noted that, going forward, the agencies will conduct more detailed reviews of internal testing results and independent capability assessments.

Daily112322.pdf

21 11, 2022

DAILY112122

2022-11-21T17:37:05-05:00November 21st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB-NY Considers Why Deposit Rates are Now So Sticky

As Karen Petrou’s talk last week noted, Democrats and the CFPB have charged that exploitation explains why bank deposit rates now lag Fed rate hikes.  Today’s post from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds a steady decline in bank deposit-rate matches to Fed rate hikes since 1994, but also identifies market factors that largely explain rate sluggishness.  The study estimates the “deposit beta” – i.e., the difference between FOMC hikes and all deposit rates (including non-interest paying funds) found in BHC data.

Senate Dems Demand Digital-Asset Crackdown

Following last week’s hearings with the banking agencies (see Client Report REFORM214), Chairman Brown (D-OH) and Senate Banking Democrats today sent letters urging Vice Chair Barr, Acting Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu to review SoFi’s digital asset activities, accusing the firm of improperly expanding its crypto trading following commitments not to do so when it was granted licenses as a national bank and BHC.  Following the playbook of pressing for rules and enforcement rather than new law, Senators point to a new SoFi service they believe is not only an “expanded” digital-asset activity despite a commitment to wind down these impermissible activities, but also is dangerous to investors and unsafe and unsound.

Daily112122.pdf

21 11, 2022

GSE-112122

2022-11-21T16:42:15-05:00November 21st, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

We’re Starting to See SIFIs

As came out into the open last week, FSOC will finally turn to rewriting the Trump era rewrite of the Obama Administration’s FSOC protocols regarding systemic financial institutions and activities.  Could the SIFI reaper be coming for Fannie and Freddie?  We doubt it, but then again…

GSE-112122.pdf

21 11, 2022

FedFin: We’re Starting to See SIFIs

2022-11-22T13:21:33-05:00November 21st, 2022|The Vault|

As came out into the open last week, FSOC will finally turn to rewriting the Trump era rewrite of the Obama Administration’s FSOC protocols regarding systemic financial institutions and activities.  Could the SIFI reaper be coming for Fannie and Freddie?  We doubt it, but then again…

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

21 11, 2022

M112122

2022-11-21T16:48:57-05:00November 21st, 2022|6- Client Memo|

What Will Be Done, Not Just Said, To Fix FTX

The only question left unanswered about FTX is whether it was a purposeful scam as more than a few clients conclude or a case of implacable forces ending the era of easy money that just got the better of another wunderkind whose awesome skills turned out to be largely confined to costumery conveying inspired innovation to all too many vulnerable investors and gullible politicians.  No matter which it is or even – as I think – if it’s a bit of both, FTX is a debacle that will change U.S. financial policy for the better unless FTX drives still more crypto chaos that then spills over to core financial infrastructure and intermediation.

m112122.pdf

21 11, 2022

Karen Petrou: What Will Be Done, Not Just Said, To Fix FTX

2022-11-22T13:18:11-05:00November 21st, 2022|The Vault|

The only question left unanswered about FTX is whether it was a purposeful scam as more than a few clients conclude or a case of implacable forces ending the era of easy money that just got the better of another wunderkind whose awesome skills turned out to be largely confined to costumery conveying inspired innovation to all too many vulnerable investors and gullible politicians. No matter which it is or even – as I think – if it’s a bit of both, FTX is a debacle that will change U.S. financial policy for the better unless FTX drives still more crypto chaos that then spills over to core financial infrastructure and intermediation. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about crypto policy after my brief discussion in last week’s talk on the midterm’s policy impact. Here, more on both the legislative outlook and what regulators may finally bring themselves to do even if Congress can’t get itself together any better next year than in so many before it.

First more on why stablecoins are the cryptoasset most likely to come under a new federal gun. This isn’t because they deserve it more than any other cryptoasset – although they might – but because policy thinking about what to do with stablecoins is most advanced and, thus, bipartisan negotiations in the House are closest to the finish line.

That said, even stablecoin standards aren’t going to be easy. The clearest articulation of how new law might work is S. 4356, the Lummis-Gillibrand …

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