Fisher wants Fed's heightened regulations focused on top 10 banks
Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, is known for pushing back against the herd and is stumping for the end of all government support of financial institutions, as quickly as possible. This week, the Dallas Fed chief launched a new mission of dissent, expressing displeasure with the financial and regulatory pitfalls that come with smaller banks being forced to comply with Dodd-Frank's too-big-to-fail legislation. Fisher claims the new capital and regulatory requirements for "systemically" significant banks will unfairly punish financial institutions with between $50 billion and $300 billion in total assets. Banks with more than $50 billion in assets are classified as too big to fail under Dodd-Frank. As these smaller banks brace for new rules, including risk-based capital requirements, ability-to-repay loan provisions and consumer protections, Fisher is pushing for a narrower definition of too-big-to-fail institutions. "Few really believe a $50 billion bank poses a systemic threat to our $17 trillion banking system," Fisher said. "Nor is a $50 billion bank qualitatively similar along risk dimensions to the very largest ones that exceed $2 trillion in size. The top 10 banking organizations have a cutoff point of $300 billion. I posit that this group should constitute the primary target for enhanced supervision." Fisher said the nation's largest banks present the greatest risk to the overall economic stability of the country because they hold 64% of all assets. "Prudently managed banks are being victimized by publicly subsidized competition from less-prudent institutions," he said. Write to Kerri Panchuk.