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Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee

The Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee works to identify and analyze developing trends and ongoing events that promise to affect the efficiency and safe operation of sectors of the financial services industry; explore the spectrum of short- and long-term implications of emerging problems and policy changes; help develop private, regulatory and legislative responses to such problems that promote efficiency and safety and further the public interest; and to assess and respond to proposed and actual public policy initiatives with respect to the impact on the public interest.

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The Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee believes that a prudential tax would be a blunt instrument that would add unnecessarily to the overall complexity of existing prudential and supervisory tools while not significantly mitigating the key sources of systemic risk that proved critical in the financial crisis.

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To reduce the likelihood of future financial turmoil, regulatory authorities are crafting rules to push standardized over-the-counter derivative products into centralized clearing organizations.  Centralized clearing may enhance financial market stability by improving transparency, increasing and simplifying netting, and potentially improving margin requirements.

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Unfortunately, the final Volcker rule lacks sufficient clarity for a CEO to make a legally safe attestation or for regulators to make an objective evaluation of compliance.

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The large data breaches at Target and a number of other retail merchants in recent weeks have been viewed in the media as principally a consumer protection concern.  The Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee believes that the issues go far beyond the consumer and threatens the payments system as a whole.

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The recent $13 billion settlement between the JPMorgan Chase and a number of federal and state agencies drew unusual editorial reactions, among others, from the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the Economist.

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Recently, the Office of Financial Research (OFR) issued a report, “Asset Management and Financial Stability,” focusing upon investment management firms, which received considerable attention when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) circulated it for public comment.

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Despite continual innovations in the ways that financial assets are traded, recent events highlight some remaining aspects of fragility in our trading system.

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The Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee has been critical of the Dodd-Frank Act in the past, but in at least one area the drafters of the Act got it right: it attempted to address the problem of subprime and other low-quality mortgages that failed in large numbers when the housing bubble burst in 2007 and 2008 and led to a serious financial crisis.

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Since the International Accord on Capital Adequacy in 1987, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and US regulators have published thousands of pages on capital regulation and how to make it more risk-sensitive.

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There has been an ongoing controversy over whether money market funds (MMFs) pose a possible risk of systemic runs because of the prevailing policy of redeeming shares at a fixed par value of $1 even if the net asset value (NAV) of a share has fallen below that number.

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