24 06, 2022


2023-01-25T15:43:05-05:00June 24th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

ILC, Overdraft Bills Face Tough Path to Passage

The vote is now out on H.R. 5912, Rep. Garcia’s (D-IL) bill to circumscribe ILC charters (see FSM Report ILC13).  As we noted during the mark-up, the final bill includes modified grandfather language designed to protect existing parent companies without giving them future protection from BHC-like standards.  The bill passed narrowly – 28-25 – and is likely to face a still more challenging time on the House floor.

HFSC Wants Tough New Broker-Dealer Standards

HFSC’s investigative report today on the meme-stock crisis takes a strikingly different approach than the SEC’s pending rule.  While the Commission is focused on circumscribing payment for order flow and other market practices, HFSC principally targets broker-dealer resilience and the role of the DTCC and other critical market infrastructure.  It thus calls on Congress, the SEC, the DTCC, and the NSCC to create a new emergency-liquidity facility for clearing brokers and lays out an array of safety-and-soundness standards it wants the SEC and FINRA to mandate.

GOP Targets Thompson

Picking up their complaints about HFSC’s housing focus from Wednesday’s mark-up, Committee Republicans today called on Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) to bring FHFA Director Thompson before the panel.  They are concerned about the safety and soundness of the housing finance system amid increasing recession forecasts, highlighting the urgent pressures of higher mortgage rates and declining household income.


22 06, 2022


2023-01-25T15:55:01-05:00June 22nd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Issues Stern Sanctions Warning to Foreign Banks

In remarks today to UAE bankers, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo warned that foreign financial institutions are subject to possible sanction if transactions touch sanctioned entities via any U.S.-domiciled point.

CFBP Follows Threats with Credit-Card Action Plan

Consistent with its promises as recently as last week, the CFPB today released an ANPR examining ways to govern what it calls excessive late fees charged by credit-card issuers and announced broader initiatives in this sector.

CBDC Authorizing Legislation Takes Shape

Building on his HFSC subcommittee’s CBDC hearing record (see Client Report CBDC13), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) today released a white paper outlining legislation he plans to advance to authorize and define CBDC for the United States.

House Set to Report Revised ILC Reform Bill

As anticipated, HFSC seems likely to report H.R. 5912, ILC-reform legislation introduced by Rep. Chuy García (D-IL) (see FSM Report ILC13).  The measure subjects ILCs to bank regulation, rolling back the FDIC’s rule during the Trump Administration providing these charters with unique regulatory advantages (see FSM Report ILC15).


18 05, 2022


2023-02-21T14:36:00-05:00May 18th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

ILC Restrictions Hit Speedbump

The House Financial Services Committee today attempted to markup H.R. 5912 (Garcia, D-IL), a bill that would subject ILCs and their parent companies to BHC regulation (see FSM Report ILC13).  Reflecting concerns about the bill’s grandfather provisions, Rep. Garcia introduced an amendment to the bill that would subject commercial entities looking to acquire an ILC to prior FSOC review.

Barr Highlights Crypto Rules, Equity Ahead of Hearing

Although we will provide clients tomorrow with an in-depth assessment of his confirmation hearing, Michael Barr’s testimony confirms that he will take a different approach to financial regulation than his predecessor, Randy Quarles.  His very brief statement emphasizes the need for innovation to come with regulation and for it to advance fairness.

Bill Requiring Cash Acceptance Reported to House

The House Financial Services Committee today reported H.R. 4395 (Payne, D-NJ), a bill that requires all businesses to accept cash payments for transactions under $2000, by a vote of 32-17.  The panel added an amendment from Rep. Garcia (D-TX) to clarify that only businesses with a physical location are covered.


13 05, 2022


2023-02-21T15:16:59-05:00May 13th, 2022|3- This Week|

Mark-Up Mayhem

On Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee will meet in open, hybrid session to have another go at each other.  The increasingly nasty mood was in relative abeyance when Secretary Yellen testified last week (see Client Report FSOC27), but it was on full display later in the day when Republicans launched a full-bore attack against Acting Comptroller Hsu and earlier in the week when what should have been a staid session on the credit-rating agencies became a sparring match between Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Huizenga (R-MI) over who controls the Committee’s agenda.  None of these ill feelings has dissipated and all will be in clear view when the panel meets to report several high-profile, controversial measures.


11 04, 2022


2023-03-02T11:28:47-05:00April 11th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

Treasury Digital Dollar

Progressive Democrats in the House have introduced an alternative digital-dollar proposal (“e-cash”) to the “FedAccount” construct urged by Senate progressives that mandates an electronic currency created by the Treasury Department to devise an electronic substitute for physical fiat currency. The measure acknowledges at least some of the challenges in doing so (e.g., obstacles for those with disabilities or limited broadband access), but nonetheless mandates a very fast-paced implementation schedule that is governed by a new Treasury office with senior status and considerable independence. While a new inter-agency council would be established to address issues such as conflicts between e-cash issuance and monetary policy, the bill itself otherwise fails to address this fundamental question, as well as many others such as how it achieves privacy and anonymity goals….


17 03, 2022


2023-04-03T14:33:52-04:00March 17th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed, FHFA Leadership Advance

As anticipated last night, the Senate Banking Committee yesterday advanced all the Fed nominations and that of Sandra Thompson as FHFA director.  However, Lisa Cook’s nomination was tied on a strictly partisan basis, meaning that it was not approved by Senate Banking but is nonetheless discharged to Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY).

HFSC Hikes Array of Anti-Russia Sanctions

In the first of a series of markups, HFSC today approved 5 bills ramping up sanctions against Russia and Belarus.  The most controversial of them, H.R. 7080 (Waters, D-CA), would broaden FinCEN’s ability to obtain information about the transactions of Russian oligarchs in the US.

Chopra Uses Rate Hike to Press Competition Inquiries

Describing the CFPB as “the arm of the Federal Reserve System that is fully focused on consumers,” Director Chopra today issued a statement following yesterday’s rate hike.

Senate Democrats Take Turns Whacking Wells Fargo

Senior Democrats today took sharp issue with Wells Fargo’s refi lending, asserting it was discriminatory and seeking an array of data from the bank and action by federal agencies.  Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH), Majority Whip Durbin (D-IL), and other senators called on HUD and the CFPB to investigate findings in a recent Bloomberg story, confining their comments to a general attack on discrimination without setting a date for a reply or any specific matters the agencies are to review.


15 03, 2022


2023-04-03T14:45:47-04:00March 15th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

House Readies Still Tougher Sanctions

Thursday’s HFSC mark-up will advance a series of bills ramping up sanctions designed as amendments to the omnibus legislation advancing through Congress to punish Russia and targeted allies.  We expect all these bills to pass by wide margins, with additional measures added after tomorrow’s speech from Ukraine’ president; we will provide clients with an in-depth report of the mark-up and other actions related to financial markets.

What’s Next at the Fed

As anticipated, Sarah Bloom Raskin has reportedly withdrawn her nomination following indication from Sen. Manchin (D-WV) and two moderate Republicans that they will oppose her confirmation.  Although this might clear the nominations of Chairman Powell, Gov. Brainard, Lisa Cook, and Phillip Jefferson, this will occur only if Chairman Brown (D-OH) is willing to sacrifice leverage over the next nomination for the supervision vice chair.

More on What’s Next for the Fed

President Biden’s statement today on Ms. Raskin’s withdrawal clarifies the outlook detailed in our alert earlier this afternoon.  After praising the nominee, the president urges the Senate to quickly confirm Mr. Powell, Ms. Brainard, Ms. Cook, and Mr. Jefferson.


2 03, 2022


2023-04-04T12:58:20-04:00March 2nd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Banking Tackles Crypto Sanctions Compliance

Reflecting ongoing developments, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) and several of his Democratic colleagues today wrote to Secretary Yellen heightening their longstanding crypto concerns to specific questions about the extent to which digital assets and exchanges are appropriately captured in AML, sanctions, and CFT regulation.  They note in particular the potential for Russia to evade sanctions in the cryptosphere, an issue we anticipated in our policy assessment (see FSM Report SANCTION16).

HFSC Powell Hearing Focuses on Monetary Policy, Geopolitical Risk

As anticipated, today’s HFSC hearing with Fed Chair Powell was almost exclusively focused on Ukraine and the decisions ahead for the FOMC at its mid-March hearing.  Mr. Powell made it clear that, while he bemoaned the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, sanctions policy is outside the Fed’s remit and cyber-risk is being handled to the greatest extent possible.  Mr. Powell refused to comment on the Senate stalemate over pending Fed nominations.



11 10, 2021


2023-06-20T15:12:39-04:00October 11th, 2021|3- This Week|


As our in-depth analysis (see FSM Report MERGER8) makes clear, the Warren- García legislation on bank M&A makes the Biden competitiveness policy (see Client Report MERGER6) – strongly opposed by the industry – seem positively congenial.  Just for starters, the legislation goes beyond bank consolidation also to attack bank expansion via new or even revised BHC activities.  One pillar of the proposal is the assertion that bank consolidation fosters banking “deserts.”  However, as we also noted, recent Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland research doesn’t support this proposition.


8 10, 2021

FedFin on: Bank Merger Restrictions

2023-06-20T15:33:46-04:00October 8th, 2021|The Vault|

Progressive Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced legislation demanding an array of new decision factors governing bank M&A transactions and new or even revised BHC activities.  President Biden’s executive order demanding more competitive U.S. markets includes numerous bank-related provisions, but does so largely through requests of independent agencies such as the Federal Reserve to work with the Department of Justice to reduce bank consolidation and enhance community service.  This legislation backs up these goals with binding requirements that dramatically alter the public-interest, financial, and competitive analyses on which M&A or BHC activities have long been assessed.  Many more acquisitions, especially by or among large banks, would almost surely be rejected and the process might also become so public as to undermine the confidentiality essential to initial M&A agreement.

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

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