Sunday, March 19, 2017

Basel Issues Step-In Risk Consultation Sequel

Author: David Schwartz

On March 15, 2017 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published a second consultation paper on guidelines for the identification and management of step-in risk. The first consultation on the topic in December of 2015 set out a framework for identifying and managing step-in risk – the risk that a bank might support unconsolidated entities, beyond any contractual obligation, to protect itself from any reputational damage arising from its connection to such entities. This second consultation takes into consideration comments received on the first proposal, includes proposed reporting and other templates to regulators, and offers a timetable for adoption of the framework. 

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

OFR Publishes Trio of Central Clearing Studies

Author: David Schwartz

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. Office of Financial Research (OFR) has published a trio of papers looking at various aspects of central counterparties (CCPs). These papers range from the best way to stress test CCPs, to the adequacy of CCP margin requirements and the relative risks and utility of central clearing to repo markets.

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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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