Capital Adequacy Beyound Basel: Banking, Securities, and by Hal S. Scott

By Hal S. Scott

''In Capital Adequacy past Basel: Banking, Securities, and assurance, Hal Scott appears past the second one iteration of the Basel principles for banks to teach that banking principles don't healthy simply with the actions of securities or insurance companies, which have interaction in several actions and whose failure poses less threat to the economic climate. the lack of bank-based ideas to deal properly with varied job dangers is mirrored within the hassle in using Basel ideas to financial institution retaining businesses that interact in nonbanking task via non-bank subsidiaries.'' The booklet additionally addresses the Basel method of operational hazard, suggesting that operational danger is intensely tricky to spot and quantify. It questions why capital may be required for low-loss, high-frequency occasions, that are handled via reserves or provisions, or high-loss, low-frequency occasions which are handled by way of assurance. the most threat for which banks, and different corporations, carry the main capital is enterprise danger, and Basel calls for no capital for this.

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In contrast to banks and securities firms, the main risk to insurance companies springs from the liability side of the balance sheet, rather than from the asset side. The fundamental risk facing insurance companies is ‘‘underwriting risk,’’ the risk that they will be unable to pay their contractual obligations to policyholders. 6 But the adequacy of technical provisions depends not only on estimates of payouts under insurance contracts and costs of dealing with claims but also on the returns on invested premiums, and so insurance companies are also subject to position risk (although the term is not generally used in the insurance industry).

In 36 Capital Adequacy Beyond Basel that sense, the SEC haircuts combine credit and liquidity risk with market risk. Final net (regulatory) capital for the firm is the sum of assets, adjusted for haircuts, less the liabilities: P C SEC =Að1 À hÞÀ L A i hi where h= A , a weighted average of the haircuts, hi, for asset categories, Ai. A summary of haircuts is given in Ball and Stoll (1998). Rule 15c3-1 applies a punitive haircut of 100% to swaps and OTC derivatives. S. 45 Recently, the SEC has experimented with Basel-style internal models regulation for affiliates that deal in OTC derivatives.

Moreover, because the positions of a securities firm are mainly marketable instruments, the authorities would Capital Regulation for Position Risk 25 expect to be able to achieve a prompt and orderly liquidation in which customer accounts could be transferred to another firm in the event of financial distress if a merger with a stronger firm was not possible. Since the primary objective of capital regulation is the protection of customers of the securities firm, the regulatory authorities are willing to count as regulatory capital a wide range of instruments that are subordinate to the claims of customers.

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