Few Surprises, Much Consternation
There is little in the new capital framework we did not forecast for new capital rules after the March bank failures (see Client Report REFORM219) and what we missed was later presaged in Vice Chair Barr’s recent speech (see Client Report CAPITAL228). However, as we’ve also said many times, many devils lurk in regulatory-capital details. We know the agencies’ capital-impact bottom line because the FDIC and Fed each outlined this at contentious meetings approving the proposal for public comment. We also know that Republicans really don’t like the rule even if they haven’t read it and that key decision-makers – most notably Chair Powell – are hedging their affirmative votes for releasing the proposal with careful caveats of what they want to see in a final rule. Thus, careful analytics are essential to effective assessments of winners and losers as a result of this complex package, especially if one looks – as FedFin will – at big-picture implications – i.e., those for the economy, financial system, and economic equality – as well as at sector- and institution-specific provisions not just in key asset classes based on specific risk weightings.