Results tagged “Systemic risk” from Regulating Wall Street

Hedge Funds after Dodd-Frank


By Stephen Brown, Anthony Lynch, and Antti Petajisto

Now that the Dodd-Frank Act has been passed by both houses of Congress, we finally know its broad implications for hedge funds. As expected, it requires all large hedge fund advisers to register with the SEC. Also the new rules on derivatives trading have an additional impact on many hedge funds. However, since the Act leaves many specifics up to the regulators, considerable uncertainty remains about the exact form of the new rules. The main tradeoff is between the government's desire to learn more about hedge funds, both to assess systemic risk and to protect investors, and the compliance costs this imposes on funds and investors. Overall, how economically sensible is hedge fund regulation in the Act, and how well does the Act resolve this tradeoff?

The Riskiest Financial Firms In America

by Thomas Cooley

New measurements identify the institutions that pose the greatest risk.

We are now well past the worst throes of the financial crisis. Banks and financial institutions are earning record profits. The economy is recovering steadily. All is right with the world! Wishful thinking. The uproar over the fraud charges against Goldman Sachs last week should have underscored that we still haven't addressed the underlying sources of the risk that caused our financial collapse in 2007-2009.

In the wake of the charges the value of Goldman's stock plummeted and brought the shares of other banks down with it. It was an ominous sign that the markets realize there is still plenty of systemic risk in our banking system.

A group of my colleagues at the NYU Stern School of Business have been working since the beginning of the crisis to figure out how we can measure the risk that firms pose for the financial system as a whole. There are two parts to the risk that firms carry: 1) the risk they impose for their own shareholders because of the strategies they use to earn profits; and 2) the risk they create that spills over to the system as a whole if they get into trouble. We now have measures of that risk. The measures are updated weekly and viewable online.

Read the full opinion editorial at

Some Contingencies for Contingent Capital


A number of academics and policy makers have favored the forced debt-for-equity conversion bonds or contingent capital. With any regulation, the key is to know strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of contingent capital have been mentioned a number of times here and there (for most recent FT article, see Here, I outline some contingencies for contingent capital that regulators must keep in mind.

The Fallacy of Bank Diversification


by Viral Acharya & Matthew Richardson

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, John Varley, Barclays Chief Executive, was quoted as saying: "We see big banks as diversifiers, not risk aggregators." His comments are part of a chorus of Bank CEOs now questioning various reforms that are aimed at large, complex banks.

He is plain wrong and regulators should be wary of such arguments.

The Paradox of "Too Safe to Fail" Assets


by Viral V Acharya and Arvind Krishnamurthy

While the House and the Senate Bills empower the regulators to impose greater capital requirements on banks and systemically important institutions, they provide little guidance on how we might have to improve design of capital requirements going forward. In particular, how should we deal with fail-safe assets such as AAA-rated tranches of mortgage-backed securities and liabilities such as overnight secured borrowing ("repos") which were not capitalized, were held in large quantities, and ended up bringing down the entire financial sector through losses and runs? The Financial Times oped at the link below (joint with Arvind Krishnamurthy) argues that the entire risk of these "too safe to fail" transactions is systemic in nature, and hence financial sector has incentives to essentially ignore the risk, unless we reform capital requirements to be higher for these transactions. This is in fact the opposite of how (Basel) capital requirements are currently designed, which is to in fact give higher incentives for such transactions.

Financial Times Market Insight column

Why bankers must bear the risk of "too safe to fail" assets.

March 18, 2010



The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law in July 2010, represented the most significant and controversial overhaul of the U.S. financial regulatory system since the Great Depression. Forty NYU Stern faculty, including editors Viral V. Acharya, Thomas F. Cooley, Matthew P. Richardson, and Ingo Walter, provide a definitive analysis of the Act, expose key flaws and propose solutions to inform the rules’ adoption by regulators, in a new book, Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance (Wiley, November 2010).

About Restoring Financial Stability

Previously, many of these faculty developed 18 independent policy papers offering market-focused solutions to the financial crisis, which were published in a book, Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System (Wiley, March 2009).

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