#systemic

11 04, 2024

RESOLVE51

2024-04-11T14:22:52-04:00April 11th, 2024|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: FDIC Plan to Resolve GSIBs Fails to Answer Many Key Questions

In its first public statement since 2013 about how it would execute an SPOE resolution (see FSM Report RESOLVE23), the FDIC yesterday released a report Chair Gruenberg described as demonstrating the FDIC’s readiness to resolve a U.S. GSIB and the process it has developed for doing so under the orderly liquidation authority (OLA) provided in the Dodd-Frank Act (see FSM Report SYSTEMIC30).  As detailed in this FedFin report, the FDIC’s goal is to set stakeholder expectations regarding what to expect in an OLA resolution of a U.S. GSIB, but much reiterates current law and prior actions such as GSIB filings related to their resolution plans and the FRB’s TLAC standards (see FSM Report TLAC6).  Although perhaps released by the Chairman at least in part to assert FDIC capabilities at a time of internal stress and Congressional criticism, it remains unclear the extent to which the FDIC is ready and able to execute the protocols it describes.  The paper principally addresses only SPOE resolutions, which it states are best suited to OLA without making clear what it would do if a GSIB chose MPOE (none have so far although this is permitted under the living-will rules), a regional bank found to be systemic used MPOE (as several do), or if resolution involves a nonbank, where MPOE might well be preferable.

RESOLVE51.pdf

1 04, 2024

M040124

2024-04-01T11:17:29-04:00April 1st, 2024|6- Client Memo|

The Frightening Similarity Between Key Bridge and Bank Stress Tests

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Key Bridge passed all its stress tests before it fell into the harbor.  These were well-established protocols looking at structural resilience – acceptable, if not awesome – and, after 9/11, also at terrorist attack.  That a giant container ship might plow into the bridge was not contemplated even though this has happened before in the U.S. and not that long ago.  Which brings me to bank stress-testing and how unlikely it is to matter under actual, acute stress because the current U.S. methodology correlates risk across big banks in ways that can make bad a lot worse.  Even more troubling, tests still don’t look over the banking parapet.

M040124.pdf

1 04, 2024

Karen Petrou: The Frightening Similarity Between Key Bridge and Bank Stress Tests

2024-04-01T11:17:22-04:00April 1st, 2024|The Vault|

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Key Bridge passed all its stress tests before it fell into the harbor.  These were well-established protocols looking at structural resilience – acceptable, if not awesome – and, after 9/11, also at terrorist attack.  That a giant container ship might plow into the bridge was not contemplated even though this has happened before in the U.S. and not that long ago.  Which brings me to bank stress-testing and how unlikely it is to matter under actual, acute stress because the current U.S. methodology correlates risk across big banks in ways that can make bad a lot worse.  Even more troubling, tests still don’t look over the banking parapet.

To be sure, the Fed’s semi-annual financial-stability reports (see Client Report SYSTEMIC97) muse about risks that lurk outside the largest banks, and FSOC dutifully catalogs nonbank risk each and every year in a copious annual report (see Client Report FSOC29).  Last year, FSOC also said a lot about what might someday be done to address it via systemic designation (see FSM Report SIFI36).  But what’s being done, not just said, about nonbank risk even as inter-connections become ever more entwined?  Not much in the U.S. even though other national regulators are taking meaningful steps first to know where it lies and then to curtail it.

For example, the Bank of England and Australia’s Prudential Regulatory Authority are quickly moving past bank-centric stress testing, with Australia importantly looking not just …

25 03, 2024

DAILY032524

2024-03-25T16:46:05-04:00March 25th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

House GOP Resolution Challenges FSOC Designation Guidance

HFSC Vice-Chairman Hill (R-AR) introduced H.J. Res 120 on Friday to disapprove of FSOC’s guidance on nonbank financial company systemic designations (see FSM Report SIFI36).  The CRA resolution follows GOP criticism of the guidance at recent hearings (see Client Report FSOC30) and S.3601 from Sens. Rounds (R-SD) and Sinema (I-AZ), which would require FSOC to consider “alternative approaches” prior to systemic designation.

Hsu, Cook Warn Banks re AI Fair-Lending Risk

Acting Comptroller Hsu today stressed the importance that banks understand their use cases for AI and utilize it in a controlled manner, reiterating longstanding agency concerns about bad learning models leading to credit discrimination (see FSM Report AI).  FRB Gov. Cook today also noted that, while the FRB cannot address inequality within its mandate, it can and is looking to ensure that AI use does not lead to unfair lending.

Daily032524.pdf

25 03, 2024

M032524

2024-03-25T11:45:52-04:00March 25th, 2024|6- Client Memo|

How the FDIC Fails and Why It Matters So Much

Last January, we sent a forecast of likely regulatory action and what I called a “philosophical reflection” on the contradiction between the sum total of rules premised on unstoppable taxpayer rescues and U.S. policy that no bank be too big to fail.  Much in our forecast is now coming into public view due to Chair Powell and Vice Chair Barr; more on that to come, but these rules like the proposals are still premised on big-bank blow-outs.  I thus turn here from the philosophical to the pragmatic when it comes to bank resolution, picking up on a stunning admission in the FDIC’s proposed merger policy to ponder what’s really next for U.S. banks regardless of what any of the agencies say will result from all the new rules.

m032524.pdf

25 03, 2024

Karen Petrou: How the FDIC Fails and Why It Matters So Much

2024-03-25T11:45:45-04:00March 25th, 2024|The Vault|

Last January, we sent a forecast of likely regulatory action and what I called a “philosophical reflection” on the contradiction between the sum total of rules premised on unstoppable taxpayer rescues and U.S. policy that no bank be too big to fail.  Much in our forecast is now coming into public view due to Chair Powell and Vice Chair Barr; more on that to come, but these rules like the proposals are still premised on big-bank blow-outs.  I thus turn here from the philosophical to the pragmatic when it comes to bank resolution, picking up on a stunning admission in the FDIC’s proposed merger policy to ponder what’s really next for U.S. banks regardless of what any of the agencies say will result from all the new rules.

Let me quote at some length from the FDIC’s proposed merger policy:

“In particular, the failure of a large IDI could present greater challenges to the FDIC’s resolution and receivership functions, and could present a broader financial stability threat. For various reasons, including their size, sources of funding, and other organizational complexities, the resolution of large IDIs can present significant risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), as well as material operational risk for the FDIC. In addition, as a practical matter, the size of an IDI may limit the resolution options available to the FDIC in the event of failure.”

In short, the FDIC wants to block most big-bank mergers because it can’t ensure orderly resolution of a large insured depository …

18 03, 2024

DAILY031824

2024-03-18T16:42:54-04:00March 18th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

IMF: More Work Needed to End Too-Big-to-Fail Banks

In a blog post today, the IMF stated that progress is required to put an end to too-big-to-fail banks following last year’s bank failures.  The Tobias Adrian post cites the need for more “intrusive” supervisory action, noting that last year’s failed US banks were allowed to pursue risky strategies without proper risk-management procedures.  The post calls for improved liquidity support for banks approaching resolution, also concluding that smaller banks may pose systemic risks.

SEC Sets AI-Use Standards via New Enforcement Action

Although actual fines are small, the SEC’s enforcement action today countering “AI washing” is not just aimed at investment advisers touting AI as their guide to investment choice either for their own actions or those of their customers.  The standard also applies to other financial entities (e.g., broker-dealers) and – with still greater effect – to public-company filings related to AI and machine learning both in terms of firm focus and products offered.  Both advisers targeted by the order were also charged with violations of SEC marketing and other standards.

Daily031824.pdf

5 03, 2024

Daily030524

2024-03-05T16:37:23-05:00March 5th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Fires All Cylinders on Credit Card Fees

In conjunction with a new White House “price-gouging” initiative today ahead of the President’s address, the CFPB finalized its controversial credit-card late-fee proposal (see FSM Report CREDITCARD36).

Presidential Strike Force Targets Financial-Services Fees, Mergers

In conjunction with the CFPB’s new credit-card fee standard, the White House today announced a “strike force” attacking what it believes to be price-gouging across the U.S. economy.

Interchange, Small-Dollar Lending Bills Added to House Docket

Although Thursday’s HFSC Financial Institutions’ hearing will be a largely partisan review of the “politicized” nature of bank regulation, bills on the docket include a draft measure from Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) requiring the FRB to conduct a quantitative study of the implications of its pending interchange rule before finalization (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE12).

McHenry Supports At Least Some Liquidity-Reg Rewrite

Redoubling his campaign against the capital proposal, HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) today made it clear that he does support at least some revisions to liquidity rules.

IMF Looks Under U.S. Bank “Weak Tail”

Looking at U.S. bank failures one year later, the IMF today released a global financial stability note finding that the “weak tail” of U.S. banks continues to present a possible systemic risk despite ongoing supervisory and regulatory efforts.

Daily030524.pdf

29 02, 2024

DAILY022924

2024-02-29T16:41:41-05:00February 29th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Says Swiss Standards, Not Its Own, Led to CS Chaos

The FSB today released the review of Swiss GSIB regulation announced after Credit Suisse’s failure.

Basel Tackles Private Credit, GSIB Window-Dressing

The Basel Committee today again pressed nations – clearly here focusing on the U.S. – to finalize the end-game rules as quickly as possible.

FinCEN Releases New AML/CFT Hit List

FinCEN today emphasized that the new FATF report has revised countries where strategic AML and CFT measures are deficient, warning U.S. banks to take this into account – i.e., to ensure appropriate de-risking.

CFPB Targets Bank Comparison-Shopping Posts

The CFPB today loosed another attack on bank marketing practices, arguing that key facts are omitted  from credit-card and financial-product descriptions obscuring back-end fees.

Bipartisan HFSC Votes to Repeal SAB 121

At today’s abbreviated markup, HFSC took up H.J. Res. 109, which would repeal the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 requiring banks to keep custody cryptoassets on balance sheet (see FSM Report CUSTODY5).

HFSC Approves Secret Service Cybercrime Bill

As HFSC’s markup continued today, the committee turned to Rep. Fitzgerald’s (R-WI) bipartisan H.R. 7156 expanding Secret Service investigative authorities over cybercrime.

FSB Head Ratchets Up Stablecoin Systemic Worries

In remarks today, FSB Chair Klaas Knot discussed market developments in cryptoassets, suggesting that renewed market interest in stablecoins by bigtechs and financial institutions could have systemic implications.

Daily022924.pdf

28 02, 2024

DAILY022824

2024-02-29T11:26:05-05:00February 28th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Dems Press for New Bank-Merger Policy

Although she issued a statement strongly opposed to the CapOne/Discover merger after it was announced, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) today led a letter instead focusing on the need for the banking agencies and DOJ to quickly issue updated merger policies.

US Standards Complicate Transborder Personal-Financial Data Flows

The President plans later today to issue an executive order banning the transfer of sensitive data to “countries of concern” and certain persons subject to their jurisdiction.

Fed Worries About Regional-Bank Risk

Anna Kovner, Director of Financial Stability Policy Research at the New York Fed, today outlined four sources of systemic risk that worry the central bank even though the Fed still sees risks as manageable according to the analyses released last October (see Client Report SYSTEMIC97).

Daily022824.pdf

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