What Happens When Regulatory Capital Is Marked to Market?
Minimum equity capital requirements are a key part of bank regulation. But there is little agreement about the right way to measure regulatory capital. One of the key debates is the extent to which capital ratios should be based on current market values rather than historical ?accrual? values of assets and liabilities. In a new research paper, we investigate the effects of a recent regulatory change that ties regulatory capital directly to the market value of the securities portfolio for some banks.
A History of SOMA Income
Historically, the Federal Reserve has held mostly interest-bearing securities on the asset side of its balance sheet and, up until 2008, mostly currency on its liability side, on which it pays no interest. Such a balance sheet naturally generates income, which is almost entirely remitted to the U.S. Treasury once operating expenses and statutory dividends on capital are paid and sufficient earnings are retained to equate surplus capital to capital paid in. The financial crisis that began in late 2007 prompted a number of changes to the balance sheet. First, the asset side of the balance sheet ...
Regulation and risk shuffling in bank securities portfolios
Bank capital requirements are based on a mix of market values and book values. We investigate the effects of a policy change that ties regulatory capital to the market value of the ?available-for-sale" investment securities portfolio for some banking organizations. Our analysis is based on security-level data on individual bank portfolios matched to bond characteristics. We find little clear evidence that banks respond by reducing the riskiness of their securities portfolios, although there is some evidence of a greater use of derivatives to hedge securities exposures. Instead, banks respond ...
Measuring Market-Based Inflation Expectations
TIPS offer a hedge against inflation risks, so demand for these securities may be up because investors are worried about longer-run inflation.
The Scarcity Value of Treasury Collateral: Repo Market Effects of Security-Specific Supply and Demand Factors
In the repo market, forward agreements are security-specific (i.e., there are no deliverable substitutes), which makes it an ideal place to measure the value of fluctuations in a security's available supply. In this study, we quantify the scarcity value of Treasury collateral by estimating the impact of security-specific demand and supply factors on the repo rates of all the outstanding U.S. Treasury securities. Our results indicate the existence of an economically and statistically significant scarcity premium, especially for shorter-term securities. The estimated scarcity effect is quite ...
Available for Sale? Understanding Bank Securities Portfolios
It’s natural to think of banks as intermediaries that take in deposits and use them to make loans to businesses and individuals. But in fact, loans make up only 45 percent of the assets of U.S. banking organizations. What’s the rest? A large chunk, representing 24 percent of total assets, is accounted for by securities, such as U.S. Treasury and foreign government bonds, mortgage-backed securities (MBS), municipal and corporate bonds, and equities. In this post, we take a tour of bank securities portfolios, making use of charts and statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s ...
Treasury Market Liquidity and Early Lessons from the Pandemic Shock
Remarks at Brookings-Chicago Booth Task Force on Financial Stability (TFFS) meeting, panel on market liquidity (delivered via videoconference).
The Federal Reserve’s Market Functioning Purchases: From Supporting to Sustaining
Remarks at SIFMA Webinar.
Rising to the Challenge: Central Banking, Financial Markets, and the Pandemic
Remarks at the 16th Meeting of the Financial Research Advisory Committee for the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (delivered via videoconference).
What We Learn from a Sovereign Debt Restructuring in France in 1721
A debt is a promise to perform a certain action (make a payment) in the future. A default is a failure to perform the action when the time comes to do so. If performance of the action were always in my interest, the promise to perform it would be superfluous. When we promise to do something, it is precisely because we may well not want to do it. Debt usually takes the form of a contract, which courts can enforce. But sovereign debt (debt issued by governments) is harder to enforce, because governments aren?t easily constrained by courts. How can sovereign governments make promises and be ...