#White House

2 02, 2024

DAILY020224

2024-02-02T16:21:33-05:00February 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Powell, Hsu Add to Pressure on SEC Crypto-Custody Standards

As we noted yesterday, Congressional Republicans are now mounting a Congressional Review Act effort to repeal the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (see FSM Report CUSTODY5) requiring balance-sheet recognition of crypto-custody deposits at considerable cost to banking institutions.

Trump to Dump Powell

As we expected, Donald Trump today said that, if elected, he will not reappoint Jerome Powell.  This decision will not present itself to the next president until Mr. Powell’s term ends in January of 2026, but we do not think either of the candidates is likely to reappoint Mr. Powell should he seek a third term.

GOP Bill Challenges Capital Proposal

Echoing long-held concerns of other HFSC Republicans, Rep. Ogles (R-TN) along with Rep. Donalds (R-FL) have introduced legislation (H.R. 7143) forcing regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Senate Presses for Anti-Hungary Sanctions

In a statement that may lead financial institutions to review their exposures, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Cardin (D-MD) called on the Biden Administration to consider sanctions against Hungary due to its government’s refusal until late yesterday to support EU efforts for Ukraine and its broadly anti-democratic program in general and with specific regard to pressuring the U.S. and its ambassador to Hungary.

HFSC Republicans Take Another Shot at FDIC

Continuing their campaign against FDIC Chair Gruenberg, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) along with Subcommittee Chairs Barr (R-KY) and Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to the FDIC questioning …

31 01, 2024

GSE-013124a

2024-01-31T12:41:24-05:00January 31st, 2024|4- GSE Activity Report|

Would a Trump Victory Set the GSEs Free?

Common-stock investors clearly think so, but they’re a notably speculative lot and more than likely wrong.  In this report, we lay out why we think the limbo in which the GSEs have languished since 2008 is now a permanent quasi-vegetative state.

GSE-013124a.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

17 01, 2024

DAILY011724

2024-01-17T16:21:16-05:00January 17th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Tries to Bring Overdraft Fees Under New Benchmark

Arguing that overdraft fees are a big-bank “junk-fee harvesting machine,” CFPB Director Chopra today released a long-awaited proposal to cap fees to what the agency considers a reasonable threshold.

Bowman Expands Basel Critique, Key Dem Now Points to Problems

In remarks today, FRB Gov. Bowman did not go quite as far as her colleague Chris Waller yesterday, but she nonetheless urged that the end-game rules be re-proposed after comments are taken into account.

Senate Banking GOP Again Urges Capital Proposal Withdrawal

Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) along with all Committee Republicans late yesterday sent a letter to FRB Chair Powell, FDIC Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu once again calling on the regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Biden, Brown Praise CFPB Overdraft Proposal

Following the CFPB’s announcement of its proposed rule regarding overdraft fees today, President Biden again denounced “junk fees” as “exploitation,” and included the CFPB’s proposal in his administration’s efforts to lower costs for American consumers.

FRB/FDIC Provide Limited-Time Resolution-Plan Filing Flexibility

Reflecting a problem we identified in our assessment of the resolution-plan proposal (see FSM Report LIVINGWILL22), the FRB and FDIC today extended the resolution plan submission deadline for categories II and III banks from July 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025.

Global Regulators Turn to OTC-Derivative Margin Improvement

Following yesterday’s release with the CPMI focused on CCPs and clearing members, the Basel Committee and IOSCO today …

22 12, 2023

DAILY122223

2023-12-29T10:01:49-05:00December 22nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

President Imposes Sweeping Secondary Sanctions

Responding to ongoing evidence that sanctions are not working as hoped despite recent Treasury assurances they are, the President today issued a sweeping executive order and Treasury laid out secondary sanctions for financial institutions found to facilitate Russian Federation finances related to its “war machine.”  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of these actions which pose significant threats to dollar-clearing access for financial institutions that have so far been largely outside the reach of existing sanctions.

Treasury Requests Feedback for Financial Inclusion Strategy

Following a statutory directive, Treasury today issued an RFI to develop a national strategy for financial inclusion.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth report on the RFI.  Noting significant disparities in banking-system access for LMI, low-wealth, Black, and Hispanic households as well as discrepancies in rates of stock and business ownership between white, Black, and Hispanic households, the RFI invites recommendations for policy, government programs, financial products, technology, and other tools and market infrastructure.

Brown Prioritizes Housing, ILC Bill, AI in 2024

The Senate Banking Committee today released its policy outlook entering 2024 prioritizing affordable housing, enacting the ILC-powers bill (see FSM Report ILC17), and AI financial-sector policy (likely here picking up the Warner-Kennedy bill we will shortly assess in depth).

Daily122223.pdf

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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

20 12, 2023

DAILY122023

2023-12-20T16:49:55-05:00December 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Small-Business Reporting Reg Remains

In conjunction with his expected veto last night of legislation that would have overturned the CFPB’s small-business reporting rule, President Biden indicated that the Bureau’s rule is central to CRA implementation and would bring transparency to small-business lending.

FSB, IOSCO Try Get-Tough Approach to OEF Illiquidity

As promised, the FSB and IOSCO today finalized recommendations designed to enhance OEF resilience.

HFSC GOP Demands CFPB Nonbank Delay, Clarification

HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) and nineteen Committee Republicans sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra urging the Bureau to extend by thirty days the comment deadline for its proposal to supervise large nonbank payment providers (see FSM Report PAYMENT27).

FERC Passive-Ownership Inquiry Poses Challenges to Funds, Banks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has opened another avenue scrutinizing the extent to which large asset managers may control the companies in which they invest.

FDIC Approves Significantly Revised Sign, Advertising Standards

The FDIC Board today unanimously approved a final rule modernizing requirements for use of the FDIC’s official sign and clarifying what constitutes misrepresentation and misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo.

Daily122023.pdf

11 12, 2023

Daily121123

2023-12-11T16:51:51-05:00December 11th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Broadens Illicit Finance Scope to CRE, Investment Advisors

In connection with an order sanctioning two Afghanis for transnational corruption, Treasury and FinCEN today issued a fact sheet on actions under way to address corruption and other illicit transactions.

White House Threatens Veto on Bill Curtailing OCC, Other Agencies

The House Rules Committee is expected today to clear H.R. 357 for floor action as soon as tomorrow, prompting the White House to issue a veto threat.

Warren Presses Case for Crypto Standards in NDAA

Strengthening her position ahead of a fight with HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) over crypto provisions in the NDAA, Sen. Warren (D-MA) today announced that Sens. Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Luján (D-NM) alongside Senate Banking Committee members Warnock (D-GA), Butler (D-CA), and Van Hollen (D-MD) joined Sen. Warren and 14 other Senators as co-sponsors of the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act.

CGFS Wants LTV-Related Capital Rules Adjusted to Reflect House Prices

Reviewing the link between housing finance and systemic risk, the BIS Committee on the Global Financial System’s report today focused on the need for automatic stabilizers that provide macroprudential controls in this high-risk sector.

Daily121123.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 …

17 11, 2023

Al112023

2023-11-17T16:34:27-05:00November 17th, 2023|3- This Week|

That’s Different

As we noted in our in-depth reports last week, Congressional hearings with top bank supervisors are always eventful, but rarely game-changers.  This proved to be the case when FRB Vice Chair Barr, Acting Comptroller Hsu, and FDIC Chair Gruenberg came before Senate Banking (see Client Report REFORM229) and HFSC (see Client Report REFORM230).  One surprising takeaway affects policy and the other is political, but each has the potential to change the end-game landscape as well as that of the Biden Administration’s financial rulemaking for the rest of the President’s term.

Al112023.pdf

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