Sunday, May 7, 2017

CFTC Seeks Input on Simplifying Regulations

Author: David Schwartz

In a speech before the US Chamber of Commerce’s 11th Annual Capital Market Summit, the CFTC’s acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo announced a new project to simplify the agency’s regulations. Remarking that, "America’s derivatives markets are struggling, in some cases, under the weight of flawed and excessive regulation,” Chairman Giancarlo introduced the CFTC’s new focus on reinterpreting its regulatory mission consistent with the goals of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on regulation. To achieve these goals, the CFTC will be seeking input from industry on where existing CFTC regulations can be simplified and made less costly.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Basel Sharpens Focus on Banking Supervision

Will also improve confidence in prudential ratios

Author: David Schwartz

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has announced its work program themes for 2017 and 2018 to include a greater focus on strengthening supervision by member jurisdictions. In addition, the Committee still remains dedicated to its core goals of:

 

  • finalizing its existing policy initiatives; 
  • monitoring emerging risks;
  • assessing the effects of the Committee's post-crisis reforms; and 
  • ensuring full, timely, and consistent implementation of the Committee's standards.
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Monday, April 24, 2017

No Regulatory Relief for Securities Finance

Financial CHOICE Act leaves constraints intact

Author: Ed Blount
The latest legislative offering in the U.S., the Financial CHOICE Act, does nothing for securities finance. Nothing in the bill provides an exemption to the funding markets from the crushing weight of regulatory reform. At present, both political parties in the US seem willing to accept an outcome where the global funding markets are road kill from the reform steamroller. Many experts believe this legislative failure is due to analytic omissions on the regulators’ part. In that scenario, regulatory analysts simply don’t understand the global funding mechanism. Therefore, it is thought that regulators have not advised the legislators to offer relief, notwithstanding a steady chorus of complaints from securities lenders and borrowers. However, there is no omission. The regulators are fully aware of the effect of the impact of their rules. They simply choose to leave the new rules intact. 
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Are Bank Regulations Harming Small Businesses?

Fed Survey Finds Small Businesses Face Credit Challenges

Author: David Schwartz

A Federal Reserve Report published on April 18, 2017 found that U.S. small businesses are facing hurdles in obtaining much-needed financing for growth. The study indicated that small businesses presently face significantly more stringent credit conditions when approaching their traditional sources of loans for equipment and expansion. The Fed report itself does not point the finger at regulation as the cause for this restriction in the ability of small businesses to access credit. However, large banks have had to tighten credit conditions significantly as a result of increased capital requirements, liquidity restrictions, and stress tests. Because these big banks are the primary source of the for all business financing in the U.S., and the number one source of loans to small businesses, any restrictions on the flow of financing arising out of new banking regulation will perforce affect small businesses. 

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Financial CHOICE Act 2.0

New Bill Retains the Theme of Version 1.0 with Some Tweaks

Author: David Schwartz

On April 19, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) published a discussion draft of his Financial CHOICE Act (Version 2), updated from his original 2016 draft (Version 1). While keeping what the Rep. Hensarling calls its “pro-growth, pro-consumer” features that would end “too-big-to-fail” bailouts, the 2017 discussion draft of the Financial CHOICE Act walks back or modifies some key provisions from the 2016 version. Version 2 retains the "Dodd-Frank offramp,” the optional exemption from many Dodd-Frank regulations in exchange for higher capital reserves, that was the centerpiece of Version 1. This new version, however, provides more incentives to banks to take the offramp, in the form of exemption from stress testing. As with Version 1, Version 2 also repeals the Volcker Rule and eliminates enhanced supervision of financial market utilities designated as systemically important by the Financial Stability Oversight Council. The bill also adds new provisions drastically limiting the powers of the CFPB, and modifies various regulatory abilities of the SEC, PCAOB, and the CFTC.

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