November 26, 2015

Dysfunction at the Fed

The Fed is About to Make Life Harder For Big Banks ... It's considering changes to its annual stress test. The Federal Reserve administers stress tests to the largest U.S. banks each year to see how they would fare in a hypothetically turbulent economy. The regulator is expected to make those tests more difficult to pass. No changes have officially been proposed but, as the New York Times reports, a senior official says that the Fed is considering different modifications. – Fortune

Dominant Social Theme: The Fed is on the job, always trying to make the banking system better and safer.

Free-Market Analysis: Fortune magazine gives us a heads up on what the Federal Reserve may soon mandate for banks, as can be seen in the excerpt above.

The test is actually fairly simple, though doubtless the details are complex. First the Fed figures out how much money a bank would lose in a volatile market. This number is removed from the bank's capital and if the result brings the total below the minimum requirement, then the bank is not considered to be in compliance.

Now the Fed wants to raise the minimum requirement – that is, the amount of capital a bank has to hold. Supposedly, this would make big banks "more resilient" and less likely to fail.

Read the entire article

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