financial stability

Long-Term Capital Management co-founder Robert Merton, former Maverick Capital chief macroeconomic strategist Steve Galbraith and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Andrew Lo were recently named by the U.S. Treasury to serve on the Financial Research Advisory Committee of the Office of Financial Research. The Dodd-Frank Act established the OFR within Treasury to “serve the Financial Stability Oversight Council, its member agencies, and the public by improving the quality, transparency, and accessibility of financial data and information; conducting and sponsoring research related to financial stability; and promoting best practices in risk management,” according to a Treasury statement. [Hedge Fund Intelligence]

Aaahhh I love the Bank of England’s latest Financial Stability Report. I mean: I haven’t read it, per se. But it follows the wonderful official-sector-report layout of blandly apocalyptic text running down the right side and lovely charts running down the left, so you can close one eye and it’s a delight. The charts are a nice mix of (1) visually displaying quantitative information and (2) not:

The gist of the report is, as the Journal puts it:

U.K. banks may be misleading investors over the true state of their financial health, the Bank of England said Thursday, in its starkest warning yet to banks to restore investor confidence and get credit flowing.

“One factor which may make stated levels of capital misleading is under-recognition of expected future losses on loans,” the committee said in the BOE’s twice-yearly Financial Stability Report.Banks may be further overstating their health by making “aggressive” use of risk weights used to determine how much capital different categories of loan require, officials added.

And here’s the bottom-line recommendation: Read more »