Monday, August 14, 2017

Fed President Sees Rebound in Inflation and Modest Wage Growth

Officials reinforce Fed's gradual policy-tightening plan

Author: David Schwartz

New York Federal Reserve President and CEO William Dudley says he and his Fed colleagues anticipate U.S. inflation to rise gradually over the next several months as the labor market is expected to continue heating up. These trends, Dudley says, support the Fed’s near-term policy tightening. In the New York Fed's August 10, 2017 Regional Economic Press Briefing, Dudley called on the United States to better address factors driving racial inequality of employment and income, and he also suggested the Fed was planning to raise interest rates once more and begin reducing some bond holdings this year. 

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Basel Chair Calls for More Research into Bank Risk Models

Author: David Schwartz

In his December 2, 2016 keynote speech at the second Conference on Banking Development, Stability and Sustainability, Basel Committee Chairman Stefan Ingves invited the financial industry and academics to help better calibrate capital and liquidity standards. As the Committee finalizes Basel III, Ingves said that he welcomes research and rigorous analysis of how the Committee should think about the capital benefits of allowing banks to use internally modeled approaches to calibrate appropriate capital floors. While standardized modeling approaches have the benefit of being uniform and simple, they lack precision and may ignore real differences in risk among banks better addressed by internal models. Recognizing that “academic challenge…is an essential ingredient of a healthy financial and regulatory system,” Chairman Ingves says that the Basel Committee is eager to see research that answers questions like:


  • What are the pre-conditions for such models to produce better outcomes than, say, simpler standardized approaches? 
  • To whom do the benefits of improved modeling accrue?  For example, if a bank using a model can lower its capital requirements by, say, 30%, what are the financial stability and real economy benefits of such an approach? 
  • To what extent do the benefits of modeling accrue to lower-risk borrowers as opposed to the parties being compensated for developing and using the models?
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Enlightened, not Reactive Regulation: Now It Starts

Author: David Schwartz

Since passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, the financial industry has been dealing with an almost unstoppable wave of regulatory reforms. Most, if not all have been designed to prevent a repetition of the problems that followed the failure of AIG and Lehman Brothers in 2008. Now, after the U.S. election of a conservative majority in two (and soon to be all three) branches of the U.S. federal government, many bankers feel that a huge regulatory weight is about to be lifted. Some bankers expect a reversal of the drive toward reforms, perhaps even repeal of Dodd-Frank. That’s not going to happen, at least not without a lot of work.

Although there may be receptive listeners in government, it will take more than a supportive administration to ease the pressure for reforms. The nation has been repeatedly told that the financial industry brought the economy to the brink. Reform is now expected by Main Street voters. A new narrative must be formulated before the conservatives can delay imposition of the final rules, much less repeal the most restrictive measures.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What to Expect from the Final Cut of Basel III

Author: David Schwartz

In an October 12, 2016 address before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, William Coen, Secretary General of the Basel Committee (BIS) provided some insights into what BIS plans to do to finalize Basel III post-crisis reforms. Notably, Coen indicated that there may be some reexamination of certain aspects of the framework that may have missed their mark initially.  

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Has Crisis Regulation Made Banks Less Safe?

Regulations Based on Flawed Assumptions May Make Banks Riskier

Author: David Schwartz

The response to the financial crisis was a raft of new regulation aimed at reducing the risks posed by financial institutions. But now with strict new liquidity and leverage ratios, increased capital requirements, and restrictions on banking activities versus investing activities, are banks safer than they were prior to the crisis?  In a paper published for the September 15 and 16, 2016 BPEA conference, Harvard’s Natasha Sarin and Larry Summers try to answer that very question. 

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