#MMF

14 02, 2024

DAILY021424

2024-02-14T17:29:47-05:00February 14th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Global Regulators Propose Ways to Limit Variation-Margining Stress

As promised, CPMI and IOSCO have issued a discussion paper on CCP and clearing-member variation-margin practices.  The global agencies propose eight principles to enhance the likelihood that margins will be covered in stress situations, a continuing challenge based on a recent IMF paper finding that up to a third of EU active-derivatives users would not be able to meet variation-margin calls under stress and would thus turn to liquidating MMF shares or other assets in a manner likely to amplify market stress.

HFSC Deploys Power of the Purse to Pressure FinCEN

As anticipated, today’s HFSC hearing with Treasury and FinCEN was highly partisan, with Republicans continuing to blast FinCEN for what they call SAR surveillance and now threatening to block any increased funding for FinCEN until it also improves beneficial-ownership reporting to the GOP’s liking. Rep. Loudermilk (R-GA) also criticized FinCEN for failing to release the statutorily-mandated BSA review and the $10,000 threshold review.

Barr Sees Banking System as Strong, Liquid

In remarks today, FRB Vice Chair Barr emphasized that, despite pockets of risk and CRE worries, the banking system is sound and he sees no liquidity-risk concerns across the financial system.  Still, March 2023 taught hard lessons, he said, with banks since taking significant steps to reduce HTM holdings and enhance liquidity resilience.

Daily021424.pdf

18 12, 2023

DAILY121823

2023-12-18T17:12:20-05:00December 18th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

House Dems Press Tax-Equity Bond Capital Fix

Emphasizing their strong support for the capital proposals, 107 Democratic lawmakers led by Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) have sent a letter to Chair Powell, Chair Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu again asking for revised treatment for clean energy tax-equity bonds.

Updated GSIB Indicator Amounts Now Effective

The Fed today published updated Aggregate Global Indicator Amounts pursuant to its GSIB surcharge rule (see Client Report GSIB5).

FSB Finds U.S. NBFI Assets Continue to Dwarf Banks

The FSB today released its 2023 Global NBFI monitoring report, finding that NBFIs continue to hold a larger percentage of financial assets than banks in the U.S.

DOJ/FTC Stand Firm on New Anti-Concentration Merger Policy

Justice and the FTC today released the final version of new merger guidelines, softening but not clearly weakening the agencies’ draft (see FSM Report MERGER12).

Warren, Allies Attack Hsu’s Preemption Policy

Making it clear that Acting Comptroller Hsu will have challenges from Democrats should the White House ever nominate him as Comptroller, seven Democrats led by Sen. Warren (D-MA) sent him a letter today accusing the agency of overstepping and abusing its preemption authority.

McHenry Asks CFPB to Change Open-Banking Secondary Data Approach

HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) today sent a comment letter to CFPB Director Chopra reiterating the support expressed at a recent hearing (see Client Report CONSUMER53), for the agency’s open banking proposal (see FSM Report DATA4), but now asking for changes related to …

18 12, 2023

FSOC29

2023-12-18T11:36:07-05:00December 18th, 2023|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: FSOC Worries A Lot, Watches, Waits

This year’s FSOC report trods much old ground with two exceptions.  The first pertains to a new focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and new, generative technologies.  That said, the report does little beyond highlight this risk and include it among all the others federal agencies are told to monitor.  Private credit now also alarms FSOC, with insurance company investment in this sector of particular systemic concern in concert with the sectors’ CRE and junk-bond exposures, offshore reinsurance, and PE ownership.  As detailed in this report, banks are found to be resilient and have ample capital even as the report supports consideration of pending regulatory revisions.  Banking agencies are also asked to monitor uninsured-deposit levels and assess run-risk in light of social media and other accelerants.  In sharp contrast to more alarmist statements in the past and extensive Treasury reports (see Client Report CRYPTO32), this year’s report downplays cryptoasset risk because federal regulators are said to have taken steps to contain it.  The report also reiterates FSOC’s continuing focus on cyber and climate risk, with the closed session preceding the meeting considering a framework being developed by the OCC to measure and monitor financial risks and bank exposures.  Agencies are also encouraged to pursue comparable, “decision-useful” climate disclosures.  The LIBOR transition is considered a success and no longer poses a systemic risk.

FSOC29.pdf

7 12, 2023

DAILY120723

2023-12-07T16:42:01-05:00December 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS: CCP Collateral Holdings Pose Systemic Risk

A new BIS study looks at the risk that the transformation of OTC markets to centrally-cleared ones has in turn transformed markets based in part on know-your-counterparty into those dependent principally on collateral backing margin positions – an inherently more fragile market structure.

White House Presses FHLB Affordable-Housing Action

In remarks today, National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard not only highlighted the Biden Administration’s actions to address housing affordability, but also mentioned plans for new financing programs.

Ambitious CFPB Regulatory Plans Come Into View

The CFPB’s fall 2023 regulatory agenda provides status updates for several significant rulemaking items.

Basel to Set IRR, Window-Dressing, Crypto Standards

The Basel Committee’s year-end meeting advanced plans to address interest-rate risk (IRR) with a concrete agreement to issue a new consultation later this month updating current global IRR standards (see FSM Report IRR7).

BIS Points to MMF Risk When Rates Rise

Another new BIS paper concludes that the record size of MMFs poses significant threat to dollar-funding market stability.

OCC Warns Banks of AI Risk, Possible Supervisory Action

Reflecting growing Congressional, regulatory, and industry concerns over AI, today’s OCC semiannual risk assessment for federal banks states that national banks should be mindful of AI risks as these fall under current supervisory procedures.

Senate GOP Goes for Gruenberg’s Jugular

Despite efforts by the FDIC to reassure critics about its independent investigation, Senate Banking Republicans today fired off a ferocious letter demanding that FDIC Chair Gruenberg immediately resign …

23 10, 2023

M102323

2023-10-23T12:03:15-04:00October 23rd, 2023|6- Client Memo|

Why the New CRA Rules Won’t Serve Communities Any Better Than the Old CRA Rules

On Tuesday, the banking agencies will release the final version of their 679-page proposal to rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act.  Regrettably, much of the proposal reflected the worst of false-science staff seeking complex new models defining subjective goals combined with certainty-loving compliance officers and lawyers who just want to be told the number they need to hit, not if the number makes any sense.  Unsurprisingly, there were hundreds of comment letters in which banks generally said the agencies should ease up and community groups urged still more stringent standards.  But the story doesn’t end with this unremarkable line-up– in just the last few months, two major bank trade associations and one often-virulently anti-bank advocacy group agreed on one crucial thing:  anything close to what the agencies proposed won’t work.

m102323.pdf

23 10, 2023

Karen Petrou: Why the New CRA Rules Won’t Serve Communities Any Better Than the Old CRA Rules

2023-10-23T12:03:22-04:00October 23rd, 2023|The Vault|

On Tuesday, the banking agencies will release the final version of their 679-page proposal to rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act.  Regrettably, much of the proposal reflected the worst of false-science staff seeking complex new models defining subjective goals combined with certainty-loving compliance officers and lawyers who just want to be told the number they need to hit, not if the number makes any sense.  Unsurprisingly, there were hundreds of comment letters in which banks generally said the agencies should ease up and community groups urged still more stringent standards.  But the story doesn’t end with this unremarkable line-up– in just the last few months, two major bank trade associations and one often-virulently anti-bank advocacy group agreed on one crucial thing:  anything close to what the agencies proposed won’t work.

There are of course sharp differences between what banks and public advocates want in a new CRA rule, but what unites them is the over-arching understanding that the new approach is a cumbersome exercise remote from the reality confronting both banks and borrowers in the least-served urban and rural communities.  Banks complain – often with good reason as I showed in my book on economic inequality – that risk-based capital rules over-estimate the risk of lending to many community-focused borrowers.  The new capital proposals would ameliorate some of this in their “enhanced” risk weightings, but these weightings actually don’t count for much of anything since the proposed “higher-of” standards applies current, higher weightings.

The agencies in fact acknowledge as much …

20 10, 2023

DAILY102023

2023-10-20T17:21:03-04:00October 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate AI Measure Tackles Financial Services

The text of the key Senate AI bill, S. 3050, has now become available.

Banking Agencies Offer Olive Branch

Reflecting strong pressure and recent FRB Chair Powell statements, the FRB today announced the launch of an open data collection assessing the rule’s effects – an issue on which many bank comment letters and Congressional Republicans have been scathing.

GOP Renew Funding Campaign vs. CFPB via Fed Losses

HFSC Vice Chairman Hill (R-AR) yesterday reintroduced legislation pressuring both the Fed and CFPB by prohibiting the Fed from transferring its earnings to the Bureau if the Fed incurs an operating loss.

FinCEN Highlights Hamas Sanction Red Flags

Reflecting ongoing Congressional pressure and recent Treasury sanctions, FinCEN today issued an alert reminding financial institutions to remain vigilant for suspicious activity related to Hamas funding sources.

Fed Stays Stoic on Financial-Stability Outlook

The FRB today released is semiannual financial-stability report differing little from the relatively-sanguine outlook in its May report (see Client Report SYSTEMIC94).

Daily102023.pdf

25 09, 2023

DAILY092523

2023-09-25T16:05:07-04:00September 25th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

IMF Report: CBDC Designs Could Boost Financial Inclusion

On Friday, the IMF released a report concluding that a well-designed CBDC could foster financial inclusion and act as an entry point for the unbanked to the broader financial system.  This will strengthen Democratic demands for a U.S. CBDC, but we expect GOP opposition to remain firm and the Fed’s posture to retain its current focus on wholesale CBDCs.

FRB-NY: Stablecoins, MMFs Have Same Dynamic Runs

An FRB New York study today concludes that stablecoin investors behaved similarly to MMF investors in numerous recent runs.  Staff found that investors consider a stablecoin to have been effectively depegged once its price drops below $0.99 which triggers a run and mirrors the dynamics of MMFs “breaking the buck.”

Senate Dems Target SIFI Designation, Scenarios to Curb Climate Risk

Senator Warren (D-MA) along with Sens. Sanders (I-VT), Heinrich (D-NM), Markey (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Merkley (D-OR) today released a letter dated last Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Yellen and Climate Counselor Zindler calling on the Department to significantly increase the urgency with which it targets climate-related financial risk.

Daily092523.pdf

8 08, 2023

FedFin on: Equity and Securitization Capital Standards

2023-08-08T13:44:33-04:00August 8th, 2023|The Vault|

Based on our analysis of the inter-agency capital proposal’s framework and its credit-risk provisions, FedFin turns now to the proposed approach to equities as well as to that for securitization exposures (i.e., those that are tranched rather than simple secondary-market issuances of packages of loans or other assets backed as needed by a single credit enhancement). The proposal in some cases liberalizes the current, “general” standardized approach (SA), but more often toughens it to account for elimination of the advanced approach…

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

8 08, 2023

CAPITAL232

2023-08-08T10:52:38-04:00August 8th, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

Equity and Securitization Capital Standards

Based on our analysis of the inter-agency capital proposal’s framework and its credit-risk provisions, FedFin turns now to the proposed approach to equities as well as to that for securitization exposures (i.e., those that are tranched rather than simple secondary-market issuances of packages of loans or other assets backed as needed by a single credit enhancement).  The proposal in some cases liberalizes the current, “general” standardized approach (SA), but more often toughens it to account for elimination of the advanced approach.  This will have particular bearing on significant aspects of category III and IV bank activities (e.g., credit-card securitizations, MMF funding), but all covered banking organizations will see significant capital increases as many activities now permitted within the banking book would need to move to the trading book under the new market-risk rules.  Securitization-related capital standards are generally brought closer to those for underlying assets in simple securitizations, giving banks more balance-sheet flexibility and credit-risk mitigation opportunities if investors accept these structures.  The treatment of equity exposures is generally tightened, sometimes so much as to effectively prohibit certain activities – e.g., non-traditional equity investments in covered funds and BHC subsidiaries.  The new treatment of investment funds will also have significant implications for banks that fund themselves through prime MMFs or sponsor investment funds through equity positions.

CAPITAL232.pdf

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