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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

19 09, 2023

DAILY091923

2023-09-19T18:11:29-04:00September 19th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Finally Takes Concrete CCP-Resolution Action

Following longstanding announcements that it would advance CCP resolvability, the FSB today released a consultative report recommending a toolbox approach to CCP resolution providing sufficient loss absorption and liquidity that is readily available and mitigates adverse effects on financial stability.

Treasury Advances Climate-Risk Principles, Not Mandates

Cautiously advancing the President’s climate-risk order (see FSM Report GREEN8), Treasury today released nine nonbinding principles for net-zero financing and investment encouraging financial institutions to focus on limiting scope 3 emissions by implementing robust net-zero transition plans.

CFPB Expands AI Crackdown

Expanding on last year’s adverse action guidance (see FSM Report FAIRLEND11), the CFPB today issued a circular stating that lenders – especially those using AI – cannot use CFPB sample adverse actions forms and checklists to deny consumers credit if the samples do not accurately portray the reasoning behind the denial.

HFSC Republicans Expand Attack From Capital to LTD Rules

Today’s HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on the economic consequences of the banking agencies’ slate of recent proposals showcased strong Republican concerns.

Daily091923.pdf

18 09, 2023

DAILY091823

2023-09-18T16:46:46-04:00September 18th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Dems Slam Fed Climate Scenarios

Sens. Markey (D-MA), Warren (D-MA), Sanders (I-VT) and eight additional Democratic Senators and House Members sent a letter to Chair Powell today demanding that the Fed ensures that the financial institutions it oversees properly address the threat of climate change.  Claiming that the Fed’s climate pilot scenarios are not sufficiently rigorous, the letter demands that the Fed require banks to submit and execute plans to align their activities with climate targets, such as reducing financed emissions.

Top Treasury Official Sounds Big-Tech Payments Alarm

Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Graham Steele Friday warned that Big-Tech firms’ entry into financial services could result in increased market concentration and predatory pricing, highlighting their ability to leverage existing commercial relationships as well as network effects.  Mr. Steele also named consumer-data rights and junk fees as top priorities, praising the CFPB’s actions on personal data (see FSM Report DATA3) and credit-card late fees (see FSM Report CREDITCARD36).

Daily091823.pdf

15 09, 2023

DAILY091523

2023-09-15T16:55:06-04:00September 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Warren Adds Interest-Rate Risk to Fed Concerns

Heightening her attack on Fed interest-rate hikes, Sen. Warren (D-MA) yesterday pressed Treasury Secretary Yellen for FSOC action addressing interest-rate risks.  Those she highlights include unrealized bond losses, CRE hazard, and challenges in the leveraged-loan market.  Citing Moody’s recent credit downgrade of 10 regional banks, Ms. Warren voiced concern that interest rate risk still poses a systemic threat in these three areas and urged FSOC to act quickly to mitigate risk without suggesting specific actions.

Daily091523.pdf

14 09, 2023

DAILY091423

2023-09-14T16:47:09-04:00September 14th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

IOSCO Proposes Leveraged Loan, CLO Best Practices

IOSCO today released a consultation report proposing best practices for leveraged loans and CLOs that address origination and refinancing, EBITDA and documentation transparency, aligning interests from loan origination to end investors, managing conflicts of interest throughout the intermediation chain, and disclosures.

Durbin, Marshall Press Credit-Card Interchange Bill

Reiterating concerns expressed last month and comments yesterday on the Senate floor, Senate Whip and Judiciary Chairman Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Marshall (R-KS) were joined this time by Sen. Welch (D-VT) and four House Members calling on Visa and Mastercard to reverse planned fee hikes.

GAO Presses for FSOC Power to Regulate, Not Just Designate

The GAO today issued a report recommending that Congress consider legislation allowing FSOC to compel regulatory action, arguing that this would better accomplish the Council’s mission because FSOC currently has limited power to respond to systemic risk.

HFSC GOP Highlight CBDC Privacy Concerns

As anticipated, HFSC Digital Assets GOP Members continued their staunch opposition to a U.S. CBDC, with Subcommittee Chairman Hill (R-AR) and Majority Whip Emmer (R-MN) asserting that private innovation can modernize payments without the risk of government surveillance.

Brown Doubles Down on Opposition to House Crypto Bill

Making it still more clear that he is not supportive of pending House cryptoasset legislation, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen, SEC Chairman Gensler, and CFTC Chairman Benham asking for views on where new authority may be needed.

Daily091423.pdf

7 09, 2023

DAILY090723

2023-09-07T16:43:25-04:00September 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB-IMF Report Lays Out Crypto-Policy Roadmap

The FSB and IMF today published a joint report synthesizing their policy and regulatory recommendations for cryptoassets, laying out a policy roadmap that breaks no new ground.

Senate Dems Try Again to End State Usury Ceilings

Senate Majority Whip Durbin (D-IL) yesterday introduced another effort (S. 2730) to impose a federal usury ceiling.

NGFS Warns Ecological Risk Could Be Systemic

The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) today released a report on nature-related financial risk concluding that ecological risk transmission could cause contagion leading to systemic risk.

CFPB Soon to Advance Its Open-Banking Construct

CFPB Director Chopra today announced that the CFPB will be issuing proposed rules next month to reactivate its DFA consumer data rights powers (see FSM Report DATA3).

Global Securities Regulators Craft DeFi Standards

IOSCO today released a DeFi consultation report proposing nine policy recommendations intended to support heightened regulatory consistency and oversight.

Waters Presses Agencies to Change SSN Collection Requirements

HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) today wrote to the leadership of the banking agencies, Treasury, and FinCEN asking them to consider allowing financial institutions only to collect a SSN’s last four digits to minimize cybersecurity risks.

Fed Staff Suggest Solution to CBDC Privacy Problem

Addressing one of the biggest CBDC challenges in the U.S., Fed staff today published a report arguing that the use of privacy-enhancing technologies preserves digital asset user confidentiality while maintaining enough visibility for official audits in order to prevent illicit finance.

Daily090723.pdf

4 08, 2023

DAILY080423

2023-08-04T16:31:03-04:00August 4th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Study: GSIB Leverage Ratios No Cause of Treasury-Market Stress

As regulators prepare to extend the supplementary leverage ratio (SLR) to all large banks (see FSM Report CAPITAL230), a new Fed staff research note concludes that the higher leverage ratio did not undermine dealer-bank capacity.

Warren, Dems Use North Korea Case to Press Crypto AML/Sanctions Bill

Ahead of a hard push next month to add crypto AML and sanction standards to the defense authorization, Sens. Warren (D-MA), Van Hollen (D-MD), and Kaine (D-VA) sent a letter to Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Nelson and National Security Advisor Sullivan calling on the Administration to crack down on North Korea’s illicit crypto activity.

Warren, Porter Demand Stricter FDIC Crackdown on Uninsured Deposit Underreporting

Following last week’s FDIC financial institutions letter highlighting that some banks incorrectly estimated uninsured deposits in their Call Reports, Sen. Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Porter (D-CA) late yesterday sent a letter to FDIC Chairman Gruenberg taking serious issue with the agency’s “feeble” response.

Daily080423.pdf

25 07, 2023

DAILY072523

2023-07-25T17:18:26-04:00July 25th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Key Democrat Takes On Fed Rate Hikes

Ahead of today’s FOMC meeting, Joint Economic Committee Chair Heinrich (D-NV) yesterday sent a letter to Fed Chair Powell cautioning against additional policy tightening.

Second HFSC Markup Targets Stablecoins, Regulatory Restrictions, ESG

Thursday’s HFSC has now added another day to its mark-up calendar this week, moving the stablecoin and ESG bills to Thursday doubtless in order to avoid an endurance contest before the August recess and still meet Chairman McHenry’s (R-NC) commitments.

Senate GOP Tries to Block Capital Rewrite

Just days before the banking agencies take up new capital rules, Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) and ten other committee Republicans sent a letter to Chairman Powell demanding greater transparency and prior consultation.

Waters Presses FHFA for FHLB Reform

Following FHFA listening sessions and in anticipation of a final report this September on the FHLB system, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) late yesterday sent a letter to FHFA Director Thompson laying out a series of recommendations to significantly reform the system.

Ag Committees Slam SEC Custody Proposal

In a letter to SEC Chairman Gensler released today, Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Boozman (R-AR) and Chairwoman Stabenow (D-MI) along with House Ag. Committee Chairman Thompson (R-PA) and Ranking Member Scott (D-GA) raised strong objections to what they called serious flaws in the SEC’s proposed custody rule (see FSM Report CUSTODY5).

Warren, Scott Renew Fed-Ethics Campaign

Continuing their bipartisan campaign against the Fed, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Scott (R-FL) yesterday sent a letter

14 07, 2023

Al071723

2023-07-14T16:19:20-04:00July 14th, 2023|3- This Week|

All Roads Lead To Chokepoint

As we noted last week, HFSC’s anti-ESG agenda includes a strong poke at banks and their regulators, going beyond the climate-risk concerns that lie at the center of these sessions also to resurrect efforts during the Trump Administration to sanction any bank that decides on reputational or other grounds not to lend to a creditworthy, legal business (see FSM Report ESG3).  Much is said in this context about “Operation Chokepoint,” a decade-plus old effort by the FDIC and OCC to block bank exposures to payday lenders, firearms firms, or others the agencies believed posed so much reputational risk as to make the loans unsafe or unsound.

Al071723.pdf

7 07, 2023

DAILY070723

2023-07-07T16:47:33-04:00July 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

House Judiciary Joins GOP Asset-Manager ESG Attack

Continuing the GOP campaign against ESG, House Judiciary Chairman Jordan (R-OH) and Reps. Massie (R-KY) and Bishop (R-NC) sent letters late yesterday to the leadership of BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisers, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, claiming that what they call “collusive agreements” violate antitrust law.

FRB-KC: Farm Credit System Mergers May Influence Ag-Bank Portfolio Strategy

New research from Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City staff concludes that, while Farm Credit System mergers over the past twenty years had relatively minor effects on agricultural-bank profitability and efficiency, they may have altered bank portfolio decisions with broader implications both for banks and the communities they serve.

CFPB, Treasury, HHS Launch Interagency Inquiry Into Medical-Payment Products

As part of the White House initiative to address medical-sector “junk fees” and consumer protection, the CFPB today was joined by HHS and Treasury in issuing an RFI on high-cost specialty financial products it says harm medical patients by driving up debt.

FHFA Joins Repeat-Offender Crackdown

Acting on the “repeat-offender” crackdown initiated by the CFPB and recently picked up by the OCC, FHFA today issued a proposed rule that would revise its Suspended Counterparty Program (SCP) regulation to authorize FHFA to immediately suspend business between the GSEs and counterparties who are found to have committed civil or criminal misconduct in connection with real property management or ownership.

Daily070723.pdf

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