Thursday, March 9, 2017

GOP Congressmen Warn the Fed to Freeze their Rules

Author: David Schwartz

On February 23, 2017 House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and 33 GOP members of the Committee sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen requesting that the Fed “neither propose nor adopt any new rules until the U.S. Senate confirms a [Federal Reserve] Vice Chairman for Supervision.”  The letter is in response to Congressional testimony that Yellen gave on February 15, 2017 where she indicated that the Fed might be finalizing a proposal that “pertains to the stress tests and what it called the Stress Capital Buffer.”  

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Four Disruptive Elements Drive Regulatory Activity

“Undercurrents of Disruption to Our Markets and Societies: How We Can Respond”

Author: David Schwartz

In her keynote address at the 2017 Brodsky Family Northwestern JD-MBA Lecture Series, CFTC Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen described her thinking on the key trends driving regulatory activity. Commissioner Bowen identified “four disruptive elements” she believes are substantially responsible for changes that have been seen recently in financial markets. In turn, these disruptive elements are prompting questions about what they mean for markets and society, and what actions we should ask from regulators.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Congressional Report Takes on FSOC "Too Big to Fail" Designations

"FSOC Designations of ‘Too Big to Fail’ Firms are Arbitrary and Inconsistent"

Author: David Schwartz

The House Financial Services Committee (“House Committee”) issued a report on February 28, 2017 calling into question the process by which the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) designates certain non-bank companies as "too big to fail.” Based on subpoenaed documents requested by the House Committee and the sworn testimony of Treasury Department officials, the report concludes that the FSOC is "inconsistent and arbitrary" in exercising its power to designate certain nonbank companies as systemically important. The report echoes criticisms made by government watchdogs and courts of the FSOC's transparency and its nonbank SIFI designation process.  

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Is the US Poised to Break from Basel III?

Author: David Schwartz

In a letter dated January 31, 2017, Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) called on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to cease negotiating "binding" international financial regulatory standards in such forums as the Financial Stability Board, the Basel Committee, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors "until President Trump has had an opportunity to nominate and appoint officials that prioritize America's best interests.” 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Basel Clarifies NSFR Repo Treatment

Author: David Schwartz

On February 24, 2017, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a new set of responses to interpretation questions related to the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR).[1] This release is a follow up to the initial FAQ published in July of 2016 and includes important guidance concerning the treatment of repo for purposes of calculating the ratio. The purpose of the NSFR to move banks to more stable sources of funding that are less vulnerable to shocks. Banks and financial institutions that rely on short-term financing have raised a number of concerns about the ratio’s treatment and weighting of repo and reverse repo transactions, with some even calling for repo to be exempt from the ratio altogether. The Basel Committee’s FAQ does not address all of these concerns. But the interpretations do provide valuable clarifications to some technical aspects the treatment of repo and securities finance transactions (SFT) for the purpose of calculating the ratio, including netting of repo and reverse repo and RSF factors applicable to secured funding transactions.[2]

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