#Warren

26 02, 2024

DAILY022624

2024-02-26T16:36:24-05:00February 26th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS: More Bank Competition Leads to Increased Credit Risk

A new BIS paper looks at a question critical to the debate over bank-merger policy:  the extent to which competition drives bank risk-based pricing decisions in corporate lending and, by extension, other credit markets.

OCC Proposes Changes to FOIA Procedures

The OCC today proposed several changes to its FOIA procedures, including allowing expedited processing requests and appeals of denials of these requests and those for fee waivers.

Warren, Progressives Expand Blast on CapOne/Discover Deal to Encompass OCC Merger Proposal

Following other Democratic attacks on the CapOne/Discover merger and her own, Sen. Warren (D-MA) continued her challenge in a letter also signed by twelve House Democrats.

CFPB Takes Precedent-Setting Step Bringing Nonbanks Under Supervision

The CFPB late Friday released its first contested finding that a nonbank is subject to its supervision following the establishment in 2022 of a process for bringing nonbanks under its supervisory wings (see FSM Report CONSUMER44).

Senate Republicans Introduce Anti-CBDC Bill

Sen. Cruz (R-TX) alongside Sens. Hagerty (R-TN), Scott (R-FL), Budd (R-NC) and Braun (R-IN) today introduced a bill to prohibit the Fed from directly or indirectly issuing a CBDC or even using CBDC as a monetary-policy tool.

Daily022624.pdf

23 02, 2024

AL022624

2024-02-23T16:40:22-05:00February 23rd, 2024|3- This Week|

Anniversary Party

March 10 is the one-year anniversary of Silicon Valley Bank’s costly failure, although one might better date the beginning of the end of regional-bank regulation as we knew it to March 8, the date Silvergate bit the digital dust.  Congress has talked much of these failures ever since, but actually done nothing but chide the banking agencies from different sides of the political spectrum based on what Members think of the massive regulatory rewrite proposed in SVB’s wake and ongoing internal work at the banking agencies to improve woefully-inadequate supervision.  We would add the value also of focusing on the FDIC’s inability to resolve troubled banks to the urgent to-do list, but Congress has yet to turn to it and so neither does the FDIC.  Still, lack of action does not mean lack of talk.  There will in fact be much, much talk about recent failures when Chair Powell comes to Congress next week and even, we expect, a bit of legislative action that just might change a little bit of banking law.

Al022624.pdf

20 02, 2024

DAILY022024

2024-02-20T17:06:56-05:00February 20th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Fails to Muster Meaningful Democratic Capital-Proposal Protest

Late Friday, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) released another letter from Democrats protecting the pending capital proposals.

Fed Study: CBDC Impact on Dollar Dominance, Payment System Depends on Many Decisions

A new Fed staff study finds that a U.S. CBDC would have only a marginal impact on the dollar’s role as the reserve currency and within the payment system, although this conclusion depends on a raft of decisions now being made about other CBDCs and the cross-border payment system.

Sanders Targets BlackRock’s Market Power

We will shortly provide clients with an update on Congressional reaction to the C1/Discover merger earlier today, but here draw client attention to a new letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sure also to be among the credit-card consolidation’s fiercest critics.

Brown Presses Powell for Enforceable Ethics Standards

Senate Banking Chair Brown today renewed his campaign against Fed conflict-of-interest policies, sending another letter to Chair Powell arguing that the Fed’s recent internal-investment and ethics standards are unenforceable.

Initial Response to C1/Discover Merger Starts M&A Debate

With Congress in recess, political response to the Capital One/Discover merger has been muted in terms of sparse comments, but fiery when it comes to Sen. Warren (D-MA).

Daily022024.pdf

16 02, 2024

Al021924

2024-02-16T15:54:42-05:00February 16th, 2024|3- This Week|

Bagehot’s Legacy

HFSC Financial Institutions Chair Barr (R-KY) last week invoked the patron saint of central banks, Walter Bagehot, reminding his hearing (see Client Report LIQUIDITY34) that central banks are to use their lender-of-last-resort powers only for solvent banks and then only at a premium.  To do other, Bagehot said and Mr. Barr repeated, is to encourage moral hazard, the sin the chair went on to attribute to the modern-day Federal Reserve.  He also floated legislation to curb the Fed’s 13(3) emergency-liquidity powers, legislation on which he will have a surprising ally, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  She is a long-time advocate of tougher restrictions on Fed emergency liquidity (see FSM Report FEDERALRESERVE21).  Still, we think the odds of legislation in this Congress are small, with Congress, the agencies, and banks sure instead to focus on what will be demanded of them in terms of discount-window readiness, FedWire resilience, FHLB access, and additional liquidity.  Vice Chair Barr is less enthusiastic than Acting Comptroller Hsu about new liquidity standards, but much is afoot and thus so are we.  More to come…

Al021924.pdf

15 02, 2024

DAILY021524

2024-02-15T17:13:22-05:00February 15th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Focuses on Inclusive Cross-Border Payments

FRB Gov. Bowman today emphasized that national and global payment-system improvements must not only work for the financial system and payment providers, but also for end-users and broader inclusive growth.  This is a policy challenge that, she said, cannot be resolved only by technology.

Senate Dems Resume Attack on Zelle

Retreating from his stand during a recent hearing that seemed to absolve Zelle (see Client Report PAYMENT28), Senate Banking Chairman Brown, (D-OH) along with Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Reed (D-RI), today sent a letter reiterating calls for Zelle to clarify its reimbursement policy for impostor scams.  The letter also demands that Zelle revise its reimbursement policy to cover other scams and to and streamline its reporting process, demanding a new public commitment to doing so.

Waller Sees Impregnable Dollar Dominance

FRB Gov. Waller today mounted a strong defense not only of the dollar as the globe’s reserve currency under current conditions, but also even as digital currencies become more widely deployed.  This stand is consistent with those at the FRB opposing proposals in Congress to advance a CBDC on grounds that it is essential to preserve reserve-currency status (see FSM Report CBDC10) and signals no interest in the U.S. central bank to making any other payment-system changes to press sanctions policy with the dollar’s dominance in mind.

Daily021524.pdf

29 01, 2024

DAILY012924

2024-01-29T16:36:27-05:00January 29th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

White House Advances AI Governance, Government Adoption

Following the President’s AI executive order (see Client Report AI3), the White House today released an update following a steering-group meeting.

BIS Study Examines Stablecoin Run-Risk

A new BIS study supports pending U.S. legislation and possible rules related to stablecoin reserve assets and run-risk, finding that transparency increases stablecoin stability when reserve assets are of high quality, but decreases stability when reserves are perceived to be low quality or when there are low transaction costs to convert to fiat.

Hsu Sets Course to New OCC Merger Policy with No Fed Companion in Sight

In remarks today emphasizing the need for a more transparent bank-merger process, Acting Comptroller Hsu announced that the OCC will today release an NPR eliminating the possibility that merger applications will be approved solely by the passage of time.

Warren Starts the New Year with Political Pressure on Fed Policy

Reiterating concerns about high interest rates, Sen. Warren (D-MA) along with Sens. Hickenlooper (D-CO), Rosen (D-NV) and Whitehouse (D-RI) today sent a letter to Chair Powell calling on him to reverse rate hikes, citing its impact on the current affordable housing crisis.

Daily012924.pdf

22 01, 2024

DAILY012224

2024-01-22T16:57:16-05:00January 22nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB Reconsiders Interchange-Fee Cuts

Bowing to critics in the banking industry and on the Board, the Federal Reserve today extended the comment period on its debit-card interchange fee proposal (see FSM report INTERCHANGE12) by a surprisingly-long ninety days to May 12.  The extension is in part due to the Board’s decision to publish additional interchange fee cap data which may have persuaded the Board that the initial data analysis supporting a mandatory pricing reduction was incorrect.

OIG Finds Reserve-Bank Trades Legal, But Problematic

The Federal Reserve’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) today released long-awaited reviews of personal trades by former Dallas and Boston Reserve Bank Presidents two years ago that raised numerous and often vociferous assertions of conflicts of interest.  Indeed, Sen. Warren (D-MA) stated that she believed these epitomized a “culture of corruption” at the Fed, introducing bipartisan legislation to force considerably more transparency at the Reserve Banks.

FSB Plans Global Run-Risk Buffers

The head of the Financial Stability Board, Secretary General John Schindler, today briefed media on the global regulator’s plans to brief the G20 in October about viral-run risk and the standards needed to avert it.  Mr. Schindler said little about what the FSB is likely to propose although the Basel Committee is now considering rewrites to global LCR and NSFR standards likely to be reflected in the FSB’s recommendations.

Daily012224.pdf

21 12, 2023

DAILY122123

2023-12-21T16:29:00-05:00December 21st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

OFR Nomination Scuttled

Although Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) recently called for his confirmation, Ron Borzekowski’s appointment as Director of the Office of Financial Research was scuttled yesterday in the Senate.

Treasury Payment-System Policy Addresses Resilience, Reserve-Currency Status, Inter-Operability

Providing an update on Treasury’s working group on the future of money and payments, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Markets Nicholas Tabor yesterday indicated that the working group is considering the implications of new payment technologies for smooth international financial system functioning, U.S. national security, privacy, and financial inclusion.

Reserve Banks Promise a Peek

Tidying up, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released a new “Transparency and Accountability” policy on behalf of all of the System’s Banks.

Regulators Clarify Bank BOI Expectations

FinCEN was today joined by the FDIC, FRB, OCC, NCUA, and State Bank and Credit Union Regulators in an interagency statement clarifying that FinCEN’s beneficial ownership information Access Rule does not create new regulatory requirements or supervisory expectations for banks to access BOI from the beneficial ownership IT System.

Daily122123.pdf

15 12, 2023

DAILY121523

2023-12-15T17:31:25-05:00December 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Crypto Measures Await Next Session

As anticipated, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) was able to fend off concerted efforts by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Warren (D-MA) to add the Warren-Marshall crypto bill to the National Defense Authorization Act.

FSOC to Target Hedge Funds, Nonbank Mortgage Companies

The readout from Treasury on yesterday’s FSOC meeting provides insight into the Council’s executive session suggesting significant near-term systemic action regarding hedge funds.

FSB Plans Broad Rewrite of Public Backstops, GSIFI Resolvability, Operational Readiness

The FSB’s 2023 Resolution Report today advises banks and public sector authorities to be prepared to access public sector funding in resolution, with the Board planning to review whether existing public sector backstops are adequate to meet potential failure scenarios.

Brown Renews Bipartisan Quest to Constrain Nonbank Banks

Advancing the big-tech concerns he most recently voiced before GSIB CEOs (see Client Report GSIB23), Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) has introduced S. 3538, bipartisan legislation to impose bank regulation on non-bank parent companies of insured depository institutions.

DOJ Targets Fraudulent Microtransactions

Cracking down on unauthorized bank account charges, the DOJ today announced multiple actions against “sham” companies alleged to have used misrepresentations or unauthorized charges to steal money from consumers’ financial accounts.

CRS Warns Credit Card Act Could Result In Risky Retailer Payment Networks

The CRS this week issued a report analyzing the Durbin-Marshall Credit Card Competition Act, S.1838 (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE10), projecting that fee caps will have a greater impact on transaction fees than competition, with …

14 12, 2023

DAILY121423

2023-12-15T17:22:54-05:00December 14th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Top Senate Democrats Heighten Payment App Scrutiny

Continuing to shift their focus from Zelle to payment-service providers, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) along with Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Warren (D-MA) today sent letters to Paypal and CashApp urging them to adopt new scam-reimbursement policies.

Treasury Defends Russian Sanctions, Economic-Warfare Clout

Facing increasing assertions that U.S.-led sanctions are not meaningfully affecting Russia, Treasury today issued a blog stoutly defending sanctions effectiveness.

Reed Presses OFR to Subpoena Shadow-Bank Data

The principal sponsor of the Dodd-Frank provisions creating the Office of Financial Research, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), today defended the agency on grounds that it lacks a confirmed director, promising to push the appointment on the floor as quickly as possible.

Basel Targets Stablecoin Reserve-Asset Risk

Moving forward with “targeted” changes to current standards, the Basel Committee today outlined revisions to its crypto standards with significant practical implications.

Liang Disputes Over-Arching Need for New AI Regs

Treasury Under Secretary Liang today argued that AI is not fundamentally different than other financial innovations and is already subject to existing consumer-protection, safety-and-soundness, illicit-finance, and financial-stability guardrails.

FRB-NY Official Highlights AI Promise, Problems, Policy Action

Summarizing a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York AI conference, the Bank’s chief risk officer, Mihaela Nistor, concluded that AI can now identify GSIB and GSIFI risk due to its ability to detect tail behavior not now captured by relevant models.

Democrats Urge CFPB to Take Second Stand Against Forced Arbitration

Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Sanders (I-VT) were today …

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