#LTD

9 02, 2024

DAILY020924

2024-02-09T16:31:50-05:00February 9th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Source-of-Strength Regs Remain in Limbo

As is usually the case, the Federal Reserve’s semi-annual agenda in today’s Federal Register is wholly unilluminating as to the anticipated deadlines on the pending capital, LTD, and resolution proposals nor does it indicate if it plans to do anything regarding liquidity as suggested by Acting Comptroller Hsu.

Daily020924.pdf

31 01, 2024

DAILY013124

2024-01-31T16:57:15-05:00January 31st, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Banking Turns to AI’s Impact on Housing Finance

 

Today’s lightly-attended Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing on AI and Housing focused principally on AI governance issues including accountability, model explainability, transparency, and bias.  Sen. Warnock (D-GA) called for action on S. 3692, legislation to prohibit use of algorithmic systems to coordinate – and it is believed thus inflate – rental prices or reduce supply.  Although Subcommittee Chairwoman Smith (D-MN) lauded AI for its potential to boost the housing supply, she and other Democrats raised serious concerns that AI reinforces biases in lending decisions.

Democrats Remain Dubious About the Capital Proposal

Today’s Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on the capital rules made it still more clear that more than a few Democrats share at least some GOP concerns.  Chair Barr (R-KY) reiterated points he has frequently made about the poor analytics behind the proposal; Full Committee Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Green (D-TX) were unequivocal in their support.  Other Democrats raised concerns many had previously expressed in comment letters, with Rep. Sherman (D-CA) pointing to problems with the proposal’s impact on capital markets and its lack of credit for private mortgage insurance and Rep. Beatty (D-OH) highlighting concerns with small business credit availability.

Daily013124.pdf

22 01, 2024

M012224

2024-01-22T09:40:25-05:00January 22nd, 2024|6- Client Memo|

How the Banking Agencies Dealt Themselves Such a Weak End-Game Hand

We said from the start that finalizing the capital rules as proposed would be difficult because I have truly never seen a sweeping rule buttressed by such shoddy analytics.  It’s of course true that lots of rules make little sense, but rules that cost companies as much as the capital rules are uniquely vulnerable to substantive and legal challen­­­ges.  This is even more likely when, as now, the proposal’s victims know how to temper political claims with well-founded assertions of analytical flaws and unintended consequences.  When regulatory credibility is effectively undermined, even those who might otherwise side with the regulators become cautious, if not actually averse to doing so.  And thus, it has come to pass for the end-game rules.

m012224.pdf

22 01, 2024

Karen Petrou: How the Banking Agencies Dealt Themselves Such a Weak End-Game Hand

2024-01-22T09:22:56-05:00January 22nd, 2024|The Vault|

We said from the start that finalizing the capital rules as proposed would be difficult because I have truly never seen a sweeping rule buttressed by such shoddy analytics.  It’s of course true that lots of rules make little sense, but rules that cost companies as much as the capital rules are uniquely vulnerable to substantive and legal challenges.  This is even more likely when, as now, the proposal’s victims know how to temper political claims with well-founded assertions of analytical flaws and unintended consequences.  When regulatory credibility is effectively undermined, even those who might otherwise side with the regulators become cautious, if not actually averse to doing so.  And thus, it has come to pass for the end-game rules.

As our analyses of all of the comment letters filed last week by dozens of Democrats make clear, only a few super-progressive Democrats now stand firmly with the regulators and even they have a few qualms.  Maybe the agencies will try to bull it out – we thought so as recently as early this month in our outlook.  We were clear there that major changes would need to be made to finalize the end-game rules; now, we’re not sure even these will do.  The odds now are considerably higher for the re-proposal pressed last week by FRB Govs. Waller and Bowman.

The agencies are of course not naïve.  They knew that the final rule would have to show a few concessions to its critics.  As a result, …

22 11, 2023

DAILY112223

2023-11-22T12:23:22-05:00November 22nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Study: CBDC Analysis Needs Work, but Public-Welfare Benefits are Likely

A new FRB staff literature survey of CBDC analyses points to the wide variety of often-opposing findings relating to critical matters such as bank disintermediation and financial stability, attributing this in part to the different CBDC models under consideration in various nations.

Agencies Extend LTD Comment Period

As implied at a recent hearing (see Client Report REFORM229), the agencies have now delayed the comment deadline on long-term debt (see FSM Report TLAC9) until January 16 from November 30.

HFSC GOP Plans Immediate FDIC-Workplace Hearings

Clearly dissatisfied even though the FDIC’s new investigation will proceed without Chair Gruenberg’s involvement, HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) and Oversight Subcommittee Chair Huizenga (R-MI) wrote to Mr. Gruenberg demanding that he recuse himself from overseeing any independent investigation.

Daily112223.pdf

15 11, 2023

REFORM230

2023-11-15T15:58:45-05:00November 15th, 2023|5- Client Report|

Bipartisan Capital Bashing Continues in the House

Following yesterday’s Senate Banking hearing (see Client Report REFORM229), today’s HFSC session with top bank regulators again highlighted growing bipartisan consternation over the unintended consequences of the agencies’ capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).  Although Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) echoed Chairman Brown’s defense, Democratic criticism today went beyond concerns about mortgages and green bonds also to address credit availability, new trading and derivatives standards, capital recognition of securities losses, and insufficient review of the proposal’s quantitative impacts.  Republicans continued to bash the proposal for what they said is insufficient economic analysis.  Unlike yesterday, attention to the FDIC’s harassment scandal most notably came from Democrats’ side of the aisle, with Ranking Member Waters using all of her questioning time to criticize the FDIC and request a report from each agency describing how they will review sexual-harassment.  Reiterating concerns he and Subcommittee on Financial Institutions Chairman Barr (R-KY) recently raised regarding regulators’ interactions with international standard-setters, Chairman McHenry grilled Vice Chair Barr and Acting Comptroller Hsu about staff compensation and agency documentation practices at international events.  Mr. Barr emphasized that all Board and staff member compensation comes from the Fed, while Mr. Hsu only said that his agency tracks participation in these bodies to ensure mission alignment.   We continue to expect GOP pressure on the international-agency front but no action until GAO completes its report.  Chair Gruenberg noted broad alignment with a new incentive-compensation proposal, but revised the initial timeline …

14 11, 2023

REFORM229

2023-11-14T15:57:18-05:00November 14th, 2023|5- Client Report|

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.

REFORM229.pdf

4 10, 2023

DAILY100423

2023-10-04T16:40:00-04:00October 4th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Unbending in Demands for Better Reg Analytics, Community-Bank Mergers

In what might have been only perfunctory introductory remarks, FRB Gov. Bowman today instead continued her all-out campaign to force far more independent research before the Fed finalizes pending rules.

Brown Asks for No Wells Fargo Mercy

Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to FRB Vice Chair Barr and OCC Acting Comptroller Hsu taking serious issue with what he calls unfair labor relations practices, consumer abuses, and compliance failures at Wells Fargo, urging the regulators to take stronger action to change the bank’s culture.

McKernan Counters Gruenberg on Endgame’s Nonbank Effects

Fleshing out official comments made in dissent against pending rules, FDIC Board member Jonathan McKernan today countered Chair Gruenberg’s recent comments that any migration of bank activities to nonbanks due to the capital rules should not be considered in the regulatory process.

Gruenberg Reiterates His Top Risk Worries

As with Gov. Bowman earlier today, FDIC Chair Gruenberg used his remarks later in the day to emphasize continuing concerns: in this case, uninsured deposits, maturity mismatches, and rapid growth.

Daily100423.pdf

28 09, 2023

DAILY092823

2023-09-28T16:44:03-04:00September 28th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

White House Resilience Plan Focuses on Physical Infrastructure, Not Finance

The White House today released a National Climate Framework focused principally on promoting climate resilience in non-financial sectors such as building and energy use, improving federal agency climate preparedness, ensuring land and water resilience, and increasing climate-related community benefits and job opportunities.

BIS Conducts Successful Wholesale CBDC FX Pilot

Looking at the wholesale CBDCs of most interest in the U.S., the BIS today announced the conclusion of Project Marina, a wholesale CBDC FX pilot with DeFi elements among the central banks of France, Switzerland, and Singapore.

OCC Moves Interest-Rate Risk to Supervisory Priority List

The OCC today released its 2024 bank supervision operating plan announcing that there will be heightened supervision focus on interest-rate risk, AML/CFT, payments, DLT, and CRA.

All But The Smallest, Simplest Regional Banks Face Tougher Supervision

Signaling tougher supervisory standards for most regional banks, the long-anticipated Federal Reserve OIG report on SVB’s failure largely reiterates findings in Vice Chair Barr’s SVB report (see Client Report REFORM221) on failures by Board and FRB-SF supervisory staff quickly to adapt to SVB’s rapidly-changing risk profile.

Gruenberg Again Calls for Targeted Deposit Insurance Reform

In remarks today, FDIC Chair Gruenberg said that cross-border cooperation enhanced resolution of SVB’s international subsidiaries, using a talk to global deposit insurers also to reiterate prior recommendations on deposit-insurance reform (see Client Report DEPOSITINSURANCE119).

Daily092823.pdf

25 09, 2023

m092523

2023-09-25T09:26:11-04:00September 25th, 2023|6- Client Memo|

How to Right the Raft of New Rules

What struck me most about the HFSC hearing at which I testified last week was how lukewarm Democrats are to the new rules unless they feel compelled to defend the White House or core political objectives.  When the partisan spotlight dimmed, more than a few Democrats said that the rules might have both small and even significant perverse consequences. Given that GOP-led repeal of the rules is impossible and court overturn is at best a lengthy process, hard work to get the rules more to the middle is essential.  Even if large banks still think the rules are bad, they’ll be better and that’s all to the good.

m092523.pdf

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