8 04, 2024


2024-04-08T16:31:06-04:00April 8th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Schumer Weighs In Against CapOne/Discover Deal

Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) made it clear that the Capital One/Discover merger faces an unusually high hurdle:  strong opposition with the power to pack even more of a political punch than concerns voiced so far by progressive Democrats.

Treasury IMF Presses for Bank Insurance, Pension, Bond-Fund Rules Restricting Private-Credit Interconnection

The IMF continued its pressure on private credit, finding that the sector clocked in last year at $2.1 trillion with three quarters of this in the U.S. and soon to eclipse syndicated lending and high-yield bonds.

GOP Introduces CRA Resolutions Challenging Climate-Risk Rules

Splitting the issue among various GOP sponsors, GOP members have introduced Congressional Review Act resolutions to overturn climate-risk rules finalized by the OCC (H.J. Res 124 by Rep. Donalds [R-FL] et al.), the FRB (H.J. Res 125 by Rep. Fitzgerald [R-WI] et al.), and FDIC (H.J. Res 126 by Rep. Houchin [R-IN] et al.).

CFPB Criticizes Credit Report Inaccuracies for Victims of Human Trafficking, Identity Theft

A CFPB report criticized furnishers for providing false or fraudulent information to consumer reporting companies and accused consumer reporting agencies of failing to ensure the accuracy of credit reports related to victims of human trafficking and identity theft, finding significant non-compliance with its 2022 rule requiring reporting companies to block adverse information.

FRB-NY Finds that Brokers with BHCs are Better, But Are They?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s blog today posted a brief about a May 2021 study …

5 04, 2024


2024-04-05T16:26:55-04:00April 5th, 2024|3- This Week|

Crossing the AML Frontier

As the schedule below makes clear, Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo will bring his agency’s updated wish list before Senate Banking on Tuesday.  The principal focus of the session is sure to be digital assets, with Treasury refining its prior plan to bring them fully within the AML/CFT enforcement scope not just to the greatest extent possible under current law, but also after key revisions.  Democrats will be most receptive, with Sen. Warren (D-MA) using the session to propel her stalled bill to revise the law to bring what she calls cryptocurrency fully within it.  This is a bipartisan bill, but we still expect many Republicans to complain that data does not support Treasury’s concerns in this sector.  Republicans led by Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) are sure also to use the session to complain that big banks are using SARs to target January 6 protesters and others with whom they do not agree, alleging also that Treasury has pressed banks to do so for its own political purposes.  Sen. Scott has sent a strongly-worded letter on this topic and it is a still more high-priority issue in the House.  As always, an in-depth analysis will follow the hearing pointing to key actions and any changes to the challenging path ahead for the Warren-Marshall bill now that it was omitted from Majority Leader Schumer’s priority list.


20 10, 2023


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).


21 06, 2023


2023-06-21T17:19:57-04:00June 21st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Advances Post-SVB Proposals

HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) today released ten Democratic bills in response to recent bank failures, noting — as is indeed the case for at least some of these measures – that Republicans expressed interest in them at the last committee mark-up.   That said, today’s hearing with Chairman Powell (see forthcoming FedFin analysis) indicates that Republicans will launch a full-bore attack on higher bank-capital requirements.

Unusual Bipartisanship Advances Senate Clawback Bill

We will await text to determine the full impact of the bill approved today by Senate Banking, but the 21-2 vote makes it clear that it will have no trouble navigating the Senate floor unless more controversial riders are attached.  We doubt this will be the case given the clear intention on both sides of the aisle to agree on a viable approach to executive clawbacks, moving away from the Warren-Vance bill (see FSM Report COMPENSATION36) to give the FDIC discretion to preserve “white-knight” compensation and slightly limit the bill’s scope.

Schumer Lays Out Senate’s AI Approach

Kicking off a high-priority Senate action plan, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) today laid out his AI framework dubbed the Safe Innovation Framework.  Acknowledging that Congress knows very little about AI and what regulation is needed, he did not indicate any specifics or timing on upcoming legislation beyond outlining the framework’s priorities.


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.


7 03, 2022


2023-04-04T12:36:43-04:00March 7th, 2022|3- This Week|

The Fog of War

As we anticipated last week, the focus on the Fed usually transfixing Congressional hearings with the central bank’s chairman shifted to the grievous global geopolitical situation.  As Mr. Powell told HFSC and then Senate Banking, the Fed plays no official role in deciding whom the White House chooses to sanction and Members were too tactful to ask for a public description of the Fed’s formidable behind-the-scenes role on these critical decisions.  Even the discussion of whether the U.S. should have a CBDC was cloaked in how doing so might affect U.S. economic hegemony.  Still, Congress always has time for a political brawl and the fight that most directly involves the Fed is the one swirling around the Biden Administration’s nominees to join its Board of Governors.


10 01, 2022


2023-04-25T14:19:06-04:00January 10th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: Powell, Brainard Confirmations Confront Challenges

Many of you have asked us to forecast key policy implications ahead of two high-powered hearings this week considering President Biden’s top Fed nominees.  We will as usual provide clients with in-depth analyses after the Senate Banking Committee ponders Chairman Powell’s nomination for a second term on Tuesday and Gov. Brainard’s to become vice chair on Thursday.  Now, we explain why we think Mr. Powell’s confirmation chances – while still good – are not the slam-dunk many media sources suggest and why Gov. Brainard also faces a challenging outlook.  We will not consider the odds that an appointment in the next few days of Sarah Bloom Raskin as vice chair for supervision will alter the political calculus except to say that the last time the White House tried this Sen. Warren (D-MA) didn’t budge.  We don’t expect she will this time.  This report does not consider other pending nominations to join the Board of Governors because none of them are likely to affect policy debate except when it comes to demands for greater Fed diversity.




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