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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 …

16 11, 2022

REFORM215

2022-11-22T15:02:46-05:00November 16th, 2022|5- Client Report|

HFSC Session Brings Crypto Action to Fore, “Holistic” Capital Under Scrutiny

HFSC today largely focused bank regulators on the same range of questions posed at yesterday’s Senate Banking session (see Client Report REFORM214).  However, Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) emphasized the importance of federal legislation in sharp contrast to Chairman Brown (D-OH), also announcing a hearing in December on FTX.  Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), who will become HFSC chairman in the next Congress, concurred with the chairwoman’s views on the need for digital-finance statutory reform.  However, he took strong issue with inter-agency policy with regard to new capital rules, merger restrictions, and third-party relationship constraints.  Republican members also targeted Vice Chairman Barr’s holistic capital review, arguing that banks are currently well capitalized and that additional standards would hamper lending.  Mr. Barr indicated that an SLR rewrite is part of the holistic review but not immediately necessary to quell Treasury-market volatility or illiquidity.  As discussed in more detail below, regulators promised banking-sector crypto rules at least as stringent as Basel’s proposal.

REFORM215.pdf

 …

15 11, 2022

REFORM214

2022-11-22T15:27:38-05:00November 15th, 2022|5- Client Report|

Crypto, Deposit Rates, Capital Top Senate Discussion

At today’s Senate Banking oversight hearing with the banking agencies, Chairman Brown (D-OH) generally applauded the work of regulators, emphasizing the need for tough standards, like-kind rules for bigtech companies, and an inquiry into why depositor interest rates lag Fed rate hikes along lines posed earlier by Sen. Reed (D-RI).  FDIC Acting Chairman Gruenberg concurred, criticizing banks for sluggish rates.  Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) reiterated his longstanding complaints about regulators straying outside their mission in areas such as climate change.  He also called for SLR relief to reduce Treasury-market risk and opposed pending large-bank resolution guidance (see FSM Report LIVINGWILL19) on grounds that it is unnecessary.

REFORM214.pdf

20 10, 2022

DAILY102022

2022-10-20T17:36:06-04:00October 20th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Staff Study: Climate Risk-Based Capital Impossible for Foreseeable Future

FRB staff released a stylized study of one critical climate-risk policy question:  the extent to which banks should hold capital against it.  Members of Congress have suggested this over recent years (see FSM Report GREEN9) and the BIS at the outset of its thinking recommended both “brown-penalty” and “green-incentive” capital charges (see Client Report GREEN).

FSB Presses for MMF, Open-End Rules; Government-Bond CCPs

Continuing its NBFI focus (see Client Report NBFI), the FSB today issued new recommendations to address government-security market illiquidity.

Gruenberg Gives No Clue as to Timing, Content of Inter-Agency Crypto Guidance

In remarks today, Acting Chairman Gruenberg reiterated the risks laid out in the FSOC digital asset report (see Client Report CRYPTO33), repeated warnings against misrepresenting FDIC deposit insurance, and announced forthcoming interagency crypto guidance without providing any details or timeline.

Bipartisan Senators Press Secondary Sanctions for Enactment

Sens. Toomey (R-PA) and Van Hollen (D-MD) released a readout of a conversation with the Ukrainian Ambassador on the upcoming G7 Russian oil price cap, positioning their oil sanctions amendment for inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in light of the Ambassador’s support for it.

Warren Calls for Stronger, More Transparent CFPB Remittance Rule

Joined by four Senate Democrats, Sen. Warren (D-MA) today sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra asking that the agency strengthen its remittance rule to ensure greater transparency for exchange rates and fees it …

5 10, 2022

FedFin on: FSOC: Cryptoassets Demand Top-Down Standards, Securities Regulation, Banking-Agency Cooperation

2022-10-05T14:51:32-04:00October 5th, 2022|The Vault|

In this report, we build on our initial assessment of FSOC’s conclusion that cryptoassets now pose systemic risk and the Council’s recommendations about what should be done to curtail it.  Unsurprisingly, the FSOC report reiterates Treasury’s conclusion that cryptoassets have few, if any, natural uses (see Client Report CBDC14), characterizing this asset class as largely speculative and/or focused on benefiting insiders.  Specific recommendations are detailed in this FedFin report, with FSOC focusing as much on inter-agency cooperation…

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

5 10, 2022

CRYPTO33

2022-10-05T11:14:08-04:00October 5th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FSOC:  Cryptoassets Demand Top-Down Standards, Securities Regulation, Banking-Agency Cooperation

In this report, we build on our initial assessment of FSOC’s conclusion that cryptoassets now pose systemic risk and the Council’s recommendations about what should be done to curtail it.  Unsurprisingly, the FSOC report reiterates Treasury’s conclusion that cryptoassets have few, if any, natural uses (see Client Report CBDC14), characterizing this asset class as largely speculative and/or focused on benefiting insiders.  Specific recommendations are detailed in this FedFin report, with FSOC focusing as much on inter-agency cooperation – so far almost non-existent – and effective enforcement via the reach of traditional rules into cryptoassets as on new regulatory initiatives and legislation.  The description of new laws governing spot markets side squarely with the SEC, urging Congress to limit the CFTC’s jurisdiction to futures-related activities now subject to its jurisdiction and govern retail investors only to the extent needed with regard to CFTC-specific activities.  Custody and similar crypto activities should only be conducted by banks or other regulated entities, with FSOC also seeking first data and then restrictions on inter-connections between crypto companies and regulated banks.

CRYPTO33.pdf

3 10, 2022

DAILY100322

2022-10-05T10:29:43-04:00October 3rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Gruenberg Commits to Climate-Risk Standards, Cautious on Premium Hike

Acting FDIC Chairman Gruenberg today strongly defended banking-agency action addressing climate risk, indicating that the FDIC will advance pending risk-management principles akin to those pending from the OCC (see FSM Report GREEN12) along with working with the Fed.

FRB-Chicago Study: Big U.S. Banks are Oligopolists

A new Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago working paper finds that U.S. banking has become increasingly concentrated judged by the top-five bank’s market share and a standard market-power index, concluding that this “oligopolistic” sector is thus able to charge undue fees to weaker corporate customers.

Warren Zelle Report Finds “Rampant” Fraud, Slams Banks

Following the hearing with large-bank CEOs (see Client Report REFORM213), Sen. Warren (D-MA) released a scathing report concluding that Zelle is plagued by “rampant and increasing fraud.”

Board Defies Critics, Demands Two Networks for Online Debit Transactions

Ahead of possible Congressional action on legislation to restrict credit-card interchange fees (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE10), the FRB today voted 6-1 to finalize its controversial proposal (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE8) requiring debit-card issuers to enable at least two unaffiliated payment-card networks, including with regard to “card not present” transactions.

FSOC Presses New Law, Rule, Supervisory Standards to Tackle Crypto Systemic Risk

As anticipated, the FSOC today approved a sweeping report on cryptoasset financial stability, finding that interconnectedness between this sector and the financial system poses significant risk that warrants structural action.

Daily100322.pdf

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