Capital Proposal Gets Bipartisan Bashing in Senate Banking
Today’s Senate Banking hearing with top bank regulators showcased broad bipartisan concern over the interagency capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230). Although Chairman Brown (D-OH), Sen. Warren (D-MA), and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) staunchly defended the proposal on countercyclicality grounds, other senators on both sides of the aisle sounded the alarm over its impact on credit availability, small-business lending, and shadow-bank migration. FRB Vice Chair Barr repeatedly defended his agency’s analysis while emphasizing openness to comment, also highlighting that the proposal relates primarily to non-credit activity and would apply to only 37 banks. Some Republicans also raised concerns over other recent rulemakings, with Sen. Britt (R-AL) asking Vice Chair Barr if the agencies would consider a comment deadline extension for the LTD proposal (see FSM Report TLAC9). Although Mr. Barr stated that the rule is far simpler than the capital proposal, he also said the agencies would consider a similar extension. FDIC Chairman Gruenberg drew bipartisan ire over reports of FDIC widespread harassment, with Republicans seizing the occasion to criticize Mr. Gruenberg’s leadership. Grilled by Sen. Tillis (R-NC) about reports of a Fed leak of confidential supervisory information, Mr. Barr only said that he is deeply concerned. Separately, Chairman Brown emphasized unfinished work on bank executive accountability and urged Congress to pass the RECOUP Act (see FSM Report COMPENSATION37), which passed the Committee nearly unanimously in July.