Office of Financial Research Releases Second Annual Report

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12/17/2013

Report Identifies Threats to Financial Stability and Tools to Monitor Them,
Including Prototype Financial Stability Monitor
WASHINGTON – The Office of Financial Research (OFR) today submitted to Congress its 2013 Annual Report, fulfilling a requirement to annually assess the state of the United States financial system and analyze threats to U.S. financial stability.
 
According to the report, threats include vulnerabilities in markets for securities financing transactions and credit, vulnerabilities to an increase in interest rates and volatility, and vulnerabilities to operational risks.
 
The OFR is developing tools to monitor threats to financial stability. Specifically, the report describes a prototype Financial Stability Monitor, a comprehensive new tool developed by the OFR for tracking threats and the interplay among them.
 
The report also assesses gaps in data about short-term funding markets and other parts of the financial system, and it documents progress on implementing the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), a global standard for identifying parties to financial transactions.
 
“This report documents our recent efforts to analyze and monitor the financial system and the forces that can disrupt its functioning,” said OFR Director Richard Berner. “The Office is beginning to deliver on our core mission: to fill critical gaps in financial data and analysis for the benefit of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and, ultimately, the public.”
 
The report contains chapters on analyzing threats to financial stability, evaluating macroprudential policy, findings of OFR research on financial stability (specifically, financial contagion, market liquidity, and interconnections among financial institutions and markets), addressing data gaps and OFR’s efforts to fill those gaps, and promoting data standards, such as the LEI. The report also discusses the status of the Office in achieving its mission, and concludes with the Office’s future research and data plans.
 
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 established the OFR within the Treasury Department to conduct research and analysis, collect and standardize data, and develop best practices in risk management, on behalf of the public, in support of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (Council) and its member agencies.
 
Since its first report to Congress last year, the OFR has continued to advance its substantive work.  Among the activities of the OFR this year, the Office:
·         released a report on the activities of the asset management industry, as requested by the Council;
·         remained a leader in the initiative to establish the LEI, which launched in March, including by serving as Chair of the LEI’s Regulatory Oversight Committee;
·         established a research grant program with the National Science Foundation; and
·         expanded the Office’s Working Paper series, bringing the total to date of 12 working papers on topics related to financial stability.

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