By Karen Petrou
Starting in 2010, U.S. regulators erected a pyramid of complex, costly, and stringent safety-and-soundness, resolution-planning, and conduct regulations for the largest U.S. banking organizations that have come to be called SIFIs (i.e., systemically-important financial institutions). Starting in 2018, the agencies began to demolish the still-incomplete SIFI pyramid, issuing on October 31 two sweeping proposals (here and here) not only to implement new U.S. law, but also to go farther. Bankers say this is nice, but not enough; critics lambast the proposals as forerunners of the next financial crisis. Either could be right – the proposals repeat the most fundamental mistake of post-crisis financial regulation: rules piled upon rules or, now, rules subtracted from rules without even an effort to anticipate how all of the revised rules work taken altogether in the financial marketplace as it exists in the real world, not in a set of academic papers or political edicts. Continue reading “SIFIs and Sisyphus: The Latest Bank-Regulation Rewrite”
By Karen Shaw Petrou
On April 13, federal banking agencies released their plan to require regulatory-capital recognition of the FASB’s new current expected credit loss (CECL) accounting method. Doesn’t it sound technical, dull, and irrelevant to economic equality? The integration of capital regulation with CECL is indeed technical and often dull, but it’s absolutely critical to the ability of U.S. banks to make the long-term, higher-risk loans essential for reversing at least some U.S. income and wealth inequality. Continue reading “Very, Very Safe Banks and a Very, Very Unequal Economy”
By Karen Shaw Petrou
- CCAR now tries to make big banks a shadow U.S. central bank.
- Result: more systemic risk and still less economic inequality.
How do you make the financial system less stable and increase U.S. economic inequality at the same time? It’s not easy, but if you’re the Fed, then you accomplish this frightening feat by toughening up the annual CCAR stress test for the biggest banks without an eye to its systemic or market impact. Stress testing is fine – indeed an important addition to the post-crisis supervisory arsenal. But, CCAR itself is founded on two flawed premises: big BHCs are the heart of financial stability and nothing the central banks does adversely affects economic inequality. Continue reading “Caught in CCAR’s Cross-Fire”