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152 posts on "Financial Institutions"

November 18, 2016

The Final Crisis Chronicle: The Panic of 1907 and the Birth of the Fed



LSE_The Final Crisis Chronicle: The Panic of 1907 and the Birth of the Fed

The panic of 1907 was among the most severe we’ve covered in our series and also the most transformative, as it led to the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Also known as the “Knickerbocker Crisis,” the panic of 1907 shares features with the 2007-08 crisis, including “shadow banks” in the form high-flying, less-regulated trusts operating beyond the safety net of the time, and a pivotal “Lehman moment” when Knickerbocker Trust, the second-largest trust in the country, was allowed to fail after J.P. Morgan refused to save it.

Continue reading "The Final Crisis Chronicle: The Panic of 1907 and the Birth of the Fed" »

October 24, 2016

Are Banks Being Roiled by Oil?



LSE_Are Banks Being Roiled by Oil?

Profits and employment in the oil and natural gas extraction industry have fallen significantly since 2014, reflecting a sustained decline in energy prices. In this post, we look at how these tremors are affecting banks that operate in energy industry–intensive regions of the United States. We find that banks in the “oil patch” have experienced a significant rise in delinquencies on commercial and industrial loans. So far though, there appears to be limited evidence of spillovers to other types of loans and no evidence of widespread bank losses or failures in these regions.

Continue reading "Are Banks Being Roiled by Oil?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 21, 2016

From the Vault: Funds, Flight, and Financial Stability



The money market industry is in the midst of significant change. With the implementation this month of new Securities and Exchange Commission rules designed to make money market funds (MMFs) more resilient to stress, institutional prime and tax-exempt funds must report more accurate prices reflecting the net asset value (NAV) of shares based on market prices for the funds’ asset holdings, rather than promising a fixed NAV of $1 per share. The rules also permit prime funds, which invest in a mixture of corporate debt, certificates of deposit, and repurchase agreements, to impose fees or set limits on investors who redeem shares when market conditions sharply deteriorate. (Funds investing in government securities, which are more stable, are not subject to the new rules.) These changes, driven by a run on MMFs at the height of the financial crisis, add to earlier risk-limiting rules on portfolio holdings.

Continue reading "From the Vault: Funds, Flight, and Financial Stability" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions, Financial Markets | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 12, 2016

Let the Light In: How Financial Reporting and Transparency Improve Corporate Governance



Let the Light In: How Financial Reporting and Transparency Improve Corporate Governance

Financial reporting is valuable because corporate governance—which we view as the set of contracts that help align managers’ interests with those of shareholders—can be more efficient when the parties commit themselves to a more transparent information environment. This is a key theme in our recent article “The Role of Financial Reporting and Transparency in Corporate Governance,” which reviews the literature on the part played by financial reporting in resolving agency conflicts among managers, directors, and shareholders. In this post, we highlight some of the governance issues and recommendations discussed in the article.

Continue reading "Let the Light In: How Financial Reporting and Transparency Improve Corporate Governance" »

October 07, 2016

At the N.Y. Fed: Workshops and New Research on Improving Bank Culture and Governance



LSE_At the N.Y. Fed: Workshops and New Research on Improving Bank Culture and Governance

The New York Fed takes bank culture and governance seriously. As Bank President William Dudley said at a 2014 workshop for policymakers and industry participants, improving the culture and governance of banks is “an imperative,” both to ensure financial stability and to deepen public trust in our financial system. The Bank built on that first workshop with a second in November 2015 and will host a third event later this month, on October 20.

Continue reading "At the N.Y. Fed: Workshops and New Research on Improving Bank Culture and Governance" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 03, 2016

Fear of $10 Billion



Update (10.3.16). When this post was published earlier today, the first and second column heads of the table were reversed. We have corrected the column heads and clarified the associated text.

LSE_Fear of $10 Billion

Ten billion has become a big number in banking since the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. When banks’ assets exceed that threshold, they face considerably heightened supervision and regulation, including exams by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, caps on interchange fees, and annual stress tests. There are plenty of anecdotes about banks avoiding the $10 billion threshold or waiting to cross with a big merger, but we’ve seen no systematic evidence of this avoidance behavior. We provide some supporting evidence below and then discuss the implications for size-based bank regulation—where compliance costs ratchet up with size—more generally.

Continue reading "Fear of $10 Billion" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 08, 2016

Hey, Economist! Why—and When—Did the Treasury Embrace Regular and Predictable Issuance?



LSE_Why—and When—Did the Treasury Embrace Regular and Predictable Issuance?

Few people know the Treasury market from as many angles as Ken Garbade, a senior vice president in the Money and Payments Studies area of the New York Fed’s Research Group. Ken taught financial markets at NYU’s graduate school of business for many years before heading to Wall Street to assume a position in the research department of the primary dealer division of Bankers Trust Company. At Bankers, Ken conducted relative-value research on the Treasury market, assessing how return varies relative to risk for particular Treasury securities. For a time, he also traded single-payment Treasury obligations known as STRIPS—although not especially successfully, he notes.

Continue reading "Hey, Economist! Why—and When—Did the Treasury Embrace Regular and Predictable Issuance?" »

June 20, 2016

Risky Business: Government Mortgage Insurance Programs



Editors’ note: The column headings in the final table in this post have been corrected from an earlier version.

LSE_Risky Business: Government Mortgage Insurance Programs

Homeownership has long been a U.S. public policy goal. One of the many ways that the federal government subsidizes homeownership is through mortgage insurance programs operated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS). These programs facilitate home financing opportunities for first-time and low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Virtually all of these government-insured mortgages are securitized by Ginnie Mae, a government agency that guarantees the timely payment of principal and interest of these loans to investors that purchase the securities. That is, the U.S. taxpayers assume the credit risk on these mortgages. In this post, we assess the riskiness of these loans.

Continue reading "Risky Business: Government Mortgage Insurance Programs" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions, Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 03, 2016

At the N.Y. Fed: The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?



LSE_At the N.Y. Fed: The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?

On April 18, 2016, the New York Fed hosted a conference on current and future policy directions for the linked economies of Europe and the United States. "The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?"—organized jointly with the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the European Commission—brought together U.S. and Europe-based policymakers, regulators, and academics to discuss a series of important issues: Are the economies of the euro area and the United States on a convergent or divergent path? Are financial regulatory reforms making the banking and financial structures more similar? Will this imply a convergence in macroprudential policies? Which instruments do the United States and the euro area have at their disposal to raise investment, spur productivity, and avoid secular stagnation? In this post, we summarize the principal themes and findings of the conference discussion.

Continue reading "At the N.Y. Fed: The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?" »

May 16, 2016

Did the Supervisory Guidance on Leveraged Lending Work?



LSE_Did the Supervisory Guidance on Leveraged Lending Work?

Financial regulatory agencies issued guidance intended to curtail leveraged lending—loans to firms perceived to be risky—in March of 2013. In issuing the guidance, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation highlighted several facts that were reminiscent of the mortgage market in the years preceding the financial crisis: rapid growth in the volume of leveraged lending, increased participation by unregulated investors, and deteriorating underwriting standards. Our post shows that banks, in particular the largest institutions, cut leveraged lending while nonbanks increased such lending after the guidance. During the same period of time, nonbanks increased their borrowing from banks, possibly to finance their growing leveraged lending activity.

Continue reading "Did the Supervisory Guidance on Leveraged Lending Work?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2)
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