#Fed

23 04, 2024

DAILY042324

2024-04-23T16:38:38-04:00April 23rd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

New Fed Study: Economic Inequality Key to Growing NBFI Role, Systemic Risk

A new Fed staff note builds on prior research to show not just the link between economic inequality and financial instability, but also how heightened systemic risk due to factors such as NBFI growth is driven by economic inequality.  The study for the first time finds significant correlations between economic inequality and the growing role of nonbank asset managers, investors, and short-term wholesale lenders, observing the proven link between NBFIs and financial-system amplification.

Asset-Manager Passivity Standards Set for Thursday Rewrite

As anticipated, the FDIC has set this Thursday as the date at which it will address concerns that index-fund and other asset managers are no longer passive investors in banking organizations and thus may warrant BHC designation.  We will of course analyze the FDIC’s action immediately after it is released and then provide clients with an in-depth analysis of a proposal that, depending on how far it goes, could not only bring some NBFIs within the regulatory perimeter, but also have a negative impact on banking-organization market capitalization.

Daily042324.pdf

22 04, 2024

FedFin on: Fed Systemic-Risk Assessment: Some Worries, No Troubles

2024-04-23T16:37:21-04:00April 22nd, 2024|The Vault|

The latest Federal Reserve financial-stability assessment continues the Fed’s practice of detailing vulnerabilities without drawing bottom-line conclusions; the Board once did so, but ceased this practice after opining that the financial system’s risk was “moderate” shortly before the 2020 crash.  The Board’s report now also says that it assesses vulnerabilities, not the likelihood of near-term shock.  Survey respondents do make this assessment, with this report showing a striking increase in concerns about policy uncertainty in light of continuing inflation and the higher-for-longer rate outlook…

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

22 04, 2024

SYSTEMIC99

2024-04-22T11:35:44-04:00April 22nd, 2024|5- Client Report|

Fed Systemic-Risk Assessment: Some Worries, No Troubles

The latest Federal Reserve financial-stability assessment continues the Fed’s practice of detailing vulnerabilities without drawing bottom-line conclusions; the Board once did so, but ceased this practice after opining that the financial system’s risk was “moderate” shortly before the 2020 crash.  The Board’s report now also says that it assesses vulnerabilities, not the likelihood of near-term shock.  Survey respondents do make this assessment, with this report showing a striking increase in concerns about policy uncertainty in light of continuing inflation and the higher-for-longer rate outlook.  The Fed continues to fear vulnerabilities due to historic levels of hedge-fund leverage, life-insurance illiquidity, and MMF redemption risk.  The Fed seems to be less concerned about these risks than the IMF’s recent financial-stability assessment, although new big-bank stress tests now include an exploratory scenario related to hedge funds (see Client Report STRESS32).  The report does not voice the concerns about private credit laid out in recent Fed research or by the IMF.

SYSTEMIC99.pdf

17 04, 2024

DAILY041724

2024-04-17T17:36:07-04:00April 17th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Global Regulators Tackle NBFI Margining, Collateral Transformation

As it has long promised, the FSB today issued a consultation on standards designed to buttress derivatives, commodity, and securities-financing markets under stress through more stringent margining and collateral requirements.

Basel Head Says Go Slow re AI Risk, Supervisory Models

Basel’s Secretary General, Pablo Hernández de Cos, today focused on AI’s risk-reward profile in the banking sector, concluding that it raises a series of profound questions global regulators must work cooperatively to address.

Lummis, Gillibrand Begin Senate Stablecoin Debate

As long anticipated, Sens. Lummis (R-WY) and Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced a significantly revised version of their 2022 Bill (see FSM Report CRYPTO28) laying out U.S. stablecoin standards.

FIO Subpoena Power Faces Rollback

At HFSC’s mark-up today, the committee began with Rep. Fitzgerald’s (R-WI) Insurance Data Protection Act, H.R. 5335, which would repeal the Federal Insurance Office’s authority to subpoena insurance companies for data collection.

HFSC Likely to Pass RegTech Bill

At HFSC’s extended mark-up today, the committee turned to H.R. 7437, a bipartisan bill that would require federal banking regulators to regularly review and report to Congress on their use of technology to ensure they’re equipped to address threats to the financial system.

HFSC Set to Pass AOCI Recognition, Systemic-Risk Designation Study Measures

Continuing our coverage of today’s mark-up, HFSC was generally supportive of the two bills on the agenda from Democrats, H.R. 4206 from Rep. Sherman (D-CA) requiring large banks with available for sale securities to mark to market …

8 04, 2024

M040824

2024-04-08T13:31:04-04:00April 8th, 2024|6- Client Memo|

Why Lowering Interest Rates Now Makes Housing Even More Unaffordable

As we’ve noted, Sen. Warren and a raft of progressive Democrats are emphatically demanding that the Federal Reserve lower interest rates to promote affordable housing.  However, as a new Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas note confirms, low rates don’t necessarily make it easier to buy a home because house prices generally rise as rates fall.   Worse still, ultra-low real rates eviscerate not just the ability of all but the well-heeled and -housed to save for a down payment, but also for much else that ensures economic resilience and long-term security. Simply put, lower for longer makes the U.S. still more economically unequal, not exactly what progressives want.

m040824.pdf

8 04, 2024

Karen Petrou: Why Lowering Interest Rates Now Makes Housing Even More Unaffordable

2024-04-08T09:30:15-04:00April 8th, 2024|The Vault|

As we’ve noted, Sen. Warren and a raft of progressive Democrats are emphatically demanding that the Federal Reserve lower interest rates to promote affordable housing.  However, as a new Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas note confirms, low rates don’t necessarily make it easier to buy a home because house prices generally rise as rates fall.   Worse still, ultra-low real rates eviscerate not just the ability of all but the well-heeled and -housed to save for a down payment, but also for much else that ensures economic resilience and long-term security. Simply put, lower for longer makes the U.S. still more economically unequal, not exactly what progressives want.

The assumption in Sen. Warren’s letter and a like-kind one from Chair Brown is that lower mortgage rates reduce the carrying cost of a mortgage and thus make it easier for lower-income households to qualify for a loan.  However, this seemingly-obvious conclusion assumes that housing markets are static and, as any real-estate agent will tell you, they aren’t.

When rates go down, demand goes up and prices do the same.  Or, as the Dallas Fed study observes, a one-percentage-point hike in short-term rates usually lowers house prices by 7.5 percent over two years.  Just as intuition suggests that easy money spurs homebuying, so it is that tight money reduces demand and prices respond accordingly.

Or, they do in a normal market and there haven’t been any of these since the Fed sent interest rates below inflation-adjusted zero in 2008 and kept them …

3 04, 2024

DAILY040324

2024-04-03T17:21:51-04:00April 3rd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Wants Policy Review, Fed-Operational Improvements Ahead of New Liquidity Regs

Turning from mergers to the Fed’s lender-of-last-resort role, Gov. Bowman today argues that new liquidity policies require careful review before any new rules are adopted.

Fed Treads Carefully in New Global Money-Tokenization Project

The BIS today announced a new program exploring ways in which tokenizing central-bank and bank money for wholesale transactions on programmable platforms would benefit the monetary system.

Powell Defends Independence, Mandate Limits

In remarks today on monetary policy and Fed independence, Chair Powell was at pains to emphasize that climate risk was outside the Federal Reserve’s mandate.

FHFA Treads Cautiously Towards FHLB Reform

Issuing a minor ruling regarding Puerto Rico cooperatives, FHFA today also laid out its 2024 priorities following last year’s report on the Home Loan Bank System.

Barr Stands by CRA Rule

Responding to questions about the court injunction on the CRA rule, FRB Vice Chair Barr today stated  that the rules are restated expectations within the boundaries of the Act and Congress intended the agencies to update the 1977 law.

Chopra: Merger Approval Requires Affirmative, Additive Community Benefit

Building on his comments when the FDIC board voted 3-2 to issue its merger proposal (see FSM Report MERGER15), CFPB Director Chopra today doubled down on the view that bank mergers should only be approved if there is demonstrable community benefit over an extended period of time.

Daily040324.pdf

2 04, 2024

DAILY040224

2024-04-03T11:33:54-04:00April 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Attacks “Regulation by Application”

FRB Governor Bowman today expressed concerns about the regulatory agencies’ evolving approach to M&A, stating that pending reforms may exacerbate existing procedural problems such as long delays and regulatory uncertainty that may undermine the viability of banks.

OFR Examines Stress-Event LCR

The OFR today published a brief examining the performance of components of the LCR on U.S. GSIBs in response to the COVID-19 shock.

FRB-PHL: Majority of Consumers Receptive to CBDC

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released a report on CBDCs, finding that a majority of consumers were generally receptive to a U.S. CBDC despite obstacles to widespread CBDC consumer adoption.

Daily040224.pdf

1 04, 2024

M040124

2024-04-01T11:17:29-04:00April 1st, 2024|6- Client Memo|

The Frightening Similarity Between Key Bridge and Bank Stress Tests

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Key Bridge passed all its stress tests before it fell into the harbor.  These were well-established protocols looking at structural resilience – acceptable, if not awesome – and, after 9/11, also at terrorist attack.  That a giant container ship might plow into the bridge was not contemplated even though this has happened before in the U.S. and not that long ago.  Which brings me to bank stress-testing and how unlikely it is to matter under actual, acute stress because the current U.S. methodology correlates risk across big banks in ways that can make bad a lot worse.  Even more troubling, tests still don’t look over the banking parapet.

M040124.pdf

1 04, 2024

Karen Petrou: The Frightening Similarity Between Key Bridge and Bank Stress Tests

2024-04-12T09:41:28-04:00April 1st, 2024|The Vault|

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Key Bridge passed all its stress tests before it fell into the harbor.  These were well-established protocols looking at structural resilience – acceptable, if not awesome – and, after 9/11, also at terrorist attack.  That a giant container ship might plow into the bridge was not contemplated even though this has happened before in the U.S. and not that long ago.  Which brings me to bank stress-testing and how unlikely it is to matter under actual, acute stress because the current U.S. methodology correlates risk across big banks in ways that can make bad a lot worse.  Even more troubling, tests still don’t look over the banking parapet.

To be sure, the Fed’s semi-annual financial-stability reports (see Client Report SYSTEMIC97) muse about risks that lurk outside the largest banks, and FSOC dutifully catalogs nonbank risk each and every year in a copious annual report (see Client Report FSOC29).  Last year, FSOC also said a lot about what might someday be done to address it via systemic designation (see FSM Report SIFI36).  But what’s being done, not just said, about nonbank risk even as inter-connections become ever more entwined?  Not much in the U.S. even though other national regulators are taking meaningful steps first to know where it lies and then to curtail it.

For example, the Bank of England and Australia’s Prudential Regulatory Authority are quickly moving past bank-centric stress testing, with Australia importantly looking not just within the financial …

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