OCC Hosts Credit and Operational Risk Workshops in Orlando

News Release 2022-96 | August 8, 2022

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will host two workshops September 13-14 in Orlando, Fla., for directors, senior management, and other key executives of national community banks and federal savings associations. 

The Credit Risk: Directors Can Make a Difference workshop on September 13 covers the roles of the board and management, credit risk within the loan portfolio, and how to stay informed of changes in credit risk.

The Operational Risk: Navigating Rapid Changes workshop on September 14 covers key risk management processes, oversight roles and governance responsibilities, fraud, risk-based audit programs, and cyber threats.

The workshop fee is $99 and limited to the first 25 registrants. Participants receive course materials, supervisory materials, and lunch.

To register online and view the schedule and locations of other workshops, visit the OCC’s website. For additional questions about the workshops, please contact the OCC Bank Director Workshop Team at (202) 649-6490 or [email protected].

Media Contact

Anne Edgecomb
(202) 649-6870

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Notorious Virtual Currency Mixer Tornado Cash

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, which has been used to launder more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019. This includes over $455 million stolen by the Lazarus Group, a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) state-sponsored hacking group that was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2019, in the largest known virtual currency heist to date. Tornado Cash was subsequently used to launder more than $96 million of malicious cyber actors’ funds derived from the June 24, 2022 Harmony Bridge Heist, and at least $7.8 million from the August 2, 2022 Nomad Heist. Today’s action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, as amended, and follows OFAC’s May 6, 2022 designation of virtual currency mixer Blender.io (Blender).

“Today, Treasury is sanctioning Tornado Cash, a virtual currency mixer that launders the proceeds of cybercrimes, including those committed against victims in the United States,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly failed to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks. Treasury will continue to aggressively pursue actions against mixers that launder virtual currency for criminals and those who assist them.”

Treasury has worked to expose components of the virtual currency ecosystem, like Tornado Cash and Blender.io, that cybercriminals use to obfuscate the proceeds from illicit cyber activity and other crimes. While most virtual currency activity is licit, it can be used for illicit activity, including sanctions evasion through mixers, peer-to-peer exchangers, darknet markets, and exchanges. This includes the facilitation of heists, ransomware schemes, fraud, and other cybercrimes. Treasury continues to use its authorities against malicious cyber actors in concert with other U.S. departments and agencies, as well as foreign partners, to expose, disrupt, and hold accountable perpetrators and persons that enable criminals to profit from cybercrime and other illicit activity. For example, in 2020, Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed a $60 million civil money penalty against the owner and operator of a virtual currency mixer for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.

MIXER: TORNADO CASH

Tornado Cash (Tornado) is a virtual currency mixer that operates on the Ethereum blockchain and indiscriminately facilitates anonymous transactions by obfuscating their origin, destination, and counterparties, with no attempt to determine their origin. Tornado receives a variety of transactions and mixes them together before transmitting them to their individual recipients. While the purported purpose is to increase privacy, mixers like Tornado are commonly used by illicit actors to launder funds, especially those stolen during significant heists.

Tornado is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, a cyber-enabled activity originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States that is reasonably likely to result in, or has materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States and that has the purpose or effect of causing a significant misappropriation of funds or economic resources, trade secrets, personal identifiers, or financial information for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain.

ILLICIT FINANCE RISKS

Virtual currency mixers that assist criminals are a threat to U.S. national security. Treasury will continue to investigate the use of mixers for illicit purposes and use its authorities to respond to illicit financing risks in the virtual currency ecosystem

Criminals have increased their use of anonymity-enhancing technologies, including mixers, to help hide the movement or origin of funds. Additional information on illicit financing risks associated with mixers and other anonymity-enhancing technologies in the virtual asset ecosystem can be found in the 2022 National Money Laundering Risk Assessment.

Those in the virtual currency industry play a critical role in complying with their Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and sanctions obligations to prevent sanctioned persons and other illicit actors from exploiting virtual currency to undermine U.S foreign policy and national security interests. As part of that effort, the industry should take a risk-based approach to assess the risk associated with different virtual currency services, implement measures to mitigate risks, and address the challenges anonymizing features can present to compliance with AML/CFT obligations. As today’s action demonstrates, mixers should in general be considered as high-risk by virtual currency firms, which should only process transactions if they have appropriate controls in place to prevent mixers from being used to launder illicit proceeds.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the entity above, Tornado Cash, that is in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons is blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. All transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt. These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, click here.

For identifying information on the entity sanctioned today, as well as associated virtual wallet addresses, click here.

To report a cyber-crime, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center here.

For the U.S. government’s 2020 DPRK Cyber Threat Advisory, click here.

For information on complying with virtual currency sanctions, see OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance Guidance for the Virtual Currency Industry here and OFAC’s FAQs on virtual currency here.

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at White House Virtual Roundtable with Business and Labor Leaders

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Brian.

I’m really excited to be here today to talk with leaders from both business and labor about how important it is for Congress to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

Actually, I convened businesses leaders myself yesterday to discuss this important legislation. It will address the cost of prescription drugs and health care for millions of Americans, and lower energy costs and bolster our energy security so we don’t have to rely on autocrats like Putin. 

This would be the biggest investment in fighting climate change in our country’s history. And this isn’t just going to protect us from global energy shocks like we’ve seen from Russia’s illegal invasion, it’s also going to create good-paying jobs across our country to power that work.

I also think it’s important to talk about the revenue streams that make these investments possible and that means adequately funding the IRS so they can enforce our existing tax laws.

The vast majority of businesses and workers are playing by the rules, but some aren’t, and estimates show that the “tax gap” from the top one percent of earners alone is as much as $160 billion each year.

Making sure we have the resources to ensure the wealthiest among us can’t avoid paying the taxes they owe that’s about restoring basic fairness and ending a two-tiered system. It’s about making sure we can invest in addressing those key household expenses and making our economy stronger.

I think it’s important to underscore that this legislation is fiscally responsible. It will actually reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over time.

And by reducing deficits, we’ll be complementing the work the Federal Reserve and the Administration is doing to combat inflation, even as we address these cost pressures like health care, prescription drugs, and energy.

So that’s why we hope Congress will pass this bill as soon as possible, and it’s why you saw five of my predecessors at the Treasury Department – Secretaries who served under Democrats and under Republicans – call for the same this week.

Thank you Mr. President.

###

READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen Meeting with CEOs on U.S. Economy and Biden-Harris Administration Actions to Reduce Inflation

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen met virtually with CEOs representing a range of industries to discuss the U.S. economy and the Biden-Harris economic agenda, including the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act.  

Secretary Yellen emphasized the importance of passing the Inflation Reduction Act to lower prescription drug and health care costs, invest in clean energy, and reduce the federal deficit and inflationary pressures, all without raising taxes on families earning less than $400,000 annually. The Secretary also emphasized that the investments to help the Internal Revenue Service address the tax gap would raise revenue from high-end tax evaders and contribute to deficit reduction in the long term as well. Secretary Yellen and the CEOs also discussed the importance of continued collaboration between the Administration and the private sector to ease inflation by addressing constrained supply chains across the globe.

Secretary Yellen highlighted the unique strengths of America’s economic recovery from the pandemic while noting the headwinds and challenges the United States and other countries face. The Secretary also raised the impact of energy and food price hikes driven by Russia’s continued unprovoked war on Ukraine and work the Administration is doing to minimize spillover effects on the U.S. economy, including, in particular, efforts to cap the price of Russian oil on global markets.

Attendees included:

  • Brian Niccol – Chairman and CEO, Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Brian Roberts – Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation
  • Christopher Nassetta – President and CEO, Hilton
  • Evan Spiegel – CEO, Snap Inc.
  • Julie Sweet – Chair and CEO, Accenture
  • Patrick Collison – Co-Founder and CEO, Stripe
  • Thasunda Brown Duckett – CEO, TIAA
  • Maya MacGuineas – President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

READOUT: Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo’s Roundtable with Local and Tribal Governments on Incorporating Equity into American Rescue Plan

WASHINGTON – Today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo convened a roundtable with local and Tribal governments to discuss how they are deploying State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), available to them through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, to effectively serve communities of color and vulnerable communities. Roundtable participants discussed how they are using tools such as budget frameworks, project review rubrics, disaggregated program data, robust community engagement, rigorous evaluation, and other systematic approaches to incorporate the context and needs of historically underserved communities into their development, approval, and implementation of SLFRF projects.

Officials representing Harris County, TX described using an equity framework for the county’s SLFRF program, which includes an equity assessment tool to ensure that racial and economic equity are key factors in making funding decisions. Durham, NC officials explained how they used equity impact assessments to review how different racial and ethnic groups could be affected by proposed investments. Officials from Los Angeles County, CA provided an overview of their Equity Toolkit to help county departments conduct an equity assessment, alignment, and evaluation process that ensures that SLFRF resources go to communities most affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials representing Fort Belknap Indian Community, MT described using a community engagement framework for the Tribe’s fiscal recovery funds, including the establishment of working groups to obtain direct feedback from Tribal citizenship in order to ensure that fiscal recovery funds meet the needs of residents and focus on economic equity.

Today’s roundtable is the latest effort by Treasury to highlight the innovative approaches that governments across the country are taking to infuse equity into their SLFRF spending. Treasury recently published an SLFRF Equity and Outcomes Resource Guide and hosted related webinars on equity and community engagement as well as metrics and evaluation.  

Participating jurisdictions in today’s roundtable included: Durham, NC; Fort Belknap Tribe, MT; Harris County, TX; Los Angeles County, CA; Minneapolis, MN; and San Antonio, TX.  

Quarterly Refunding Statement of Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets Josh Frost

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury is offering $98 billion of Treasury securities to refund approximately $54.1 billion of privately-held Treasury notes and bonds maturing on August 15, 2022.  This issuance will raise new cash from private investors of approximately $43.9 billion.  The securities are:

  • A 3-year note in the amount of $42 billion, maturing August 15, 2025;
  • A 10-year note in the amount of $35 billion, maturing August 15, 2032; and
  • A 30-year bond in the amount of $21 billion, maturing August 15, 2052.

The 3-year note will be auctioned on a yield basis at 1:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.  The 10-year note will be auctioned on a yield basis at 1:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 10, 2022.  The 30-year bond will be auctioned on a yield basis at 1:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 11, 2022.  All of these auctions will settle on Monday, August 15, 2022.  

The balance of Treasury financing requirements over the quarter will be met with weekly bill auctions, cash management bills (CMBs), and monthly note, bond, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), and 2-year Floating Rate Note (FRN) auctions.

PROJECTED FINANCING NEEDS AND ISSUANCE PLANS

Since the May refunding, Treasury has continued to receive information regarding projected borrowing needs, including an additional quarter of tax receipts and clarity on the timing and pace of redemptions of Treasury securities from the Federal Reserve System Open Market Account.  Based on this updated information, Treasury intends to continue reducing auction sizes of nominal coupon securities during the upcoming August – October 2022 quarter.  Treasury believes these reductions announced today leave Treasury well-positioned to address potential changes to the fiscal outlook.  Depending on future developments in projected borrowing needs, Treasury will consider whether adjustments in future quarters may be appropriate.

Treasury plans to address any seasonal or unexpected variations in borrowing needs over the next quarter through changes in regular bill auction sizes and/or CMBs.

NOMINAL COUPON AND FRN FINANCING

Over the next three months, Treasury anticipates incrementally reducing the size of each of the 2-, 3-, 5-, and 7-year note auctions by $1 billion per month.  As a result, the size of the 2-, 3-, 5-, and 7-year note auctions will each decrease by $3 billion by the end of October. 

Treasury anticipates decreases of $1 billion to both the new and reopened 10-year note auction sizes and to the new and reopened 30-year bond auction sizes starting in August.  

Treasury also anticipates decreases of $2 billion to both the new and reopened 20-year bond auction sizes starting in August.  Market participant feedback in the past quarter has indicated that slightly larger reductions to 20-year bond auction sizes relative to surrounding maturities would improve the structural supply and demand balance at the tenor, but also noted that it was important to ensure benchmark liquidity size and that any adjustments be made in the context of Treasury’s regular and predictable issuance framework.

In addition, Treasury anticipates maintaining the August and September reopening 2-year FRN auction sizes and maintaining the October new issue 2-year FRN auction size.

The table below presents the anticipated auction sizes in billions of dollars for the August – October 2022 quarter:

 

 

2-Year

3-Year

5-Year

7-Year

10-Year

20-Year

30-Year

FRN

May-22

47

45

48

42

36

17

22

22

Jun-22

46

44

47

40

33

14

19

22

Jul-22

45

43

46

38

33

14

19

24

Aug-22

44

42

45

37

35

15

21

22

Sep-22

43

41

44

36

32

12

18

22

Oct-22

42

40

43

35

32

12

18

24

 

The changes in nominal coupon auction sizes announced today will result in a $51 billion reduction of issuance to private investors during the August – October 2022 quarter compared to the May – July 2022 quarter.

TIPS FINANCING 

Over the next refunding quarter, Treasury intends to maintain the August 30-year TIPS reopening auction size at $8 billion, increase the September 10-year TIPS reopening auction size to $15 billion (a $1 billion increase from the May reopening auction size), and increase the October 5-year TIPS new issue auction size to $21 billion (a $1 billion increase from the April new issue auction size).  Given Treasury’s desire to stabilize the share of TIPS as a percent of total marketable debt outstanding and continued robust demand, Treasury will continue to monitor TIPS market conditions and consider whether subsequent modest increases would be appropriate.

BILL ISSUANCE AND 4-MONTH BILL BENCHMARK

Based on current forecasts, Treasury expects that the supply of bills outstanding in mid-July will represent the lowest point for the calendar year.  Since this low point, Treasury has increased bills outstanding by $77 billion and anticipates that supply will further increase by nearly $100 billion over the remainder of the current calendar quarter.  As always, Treasury will continue to evaluate the fiscal outlook and assess the need to make adjustments to bill auction sizes as the outlook evolves.

As announced at the May quarterly refunding, Treasury plans to transition the 4-month (i.e.,17-week) CMB to benchmark status.  During this transition, Treasury will continue to issue the 4-month CMB at a regular weekly cadence.  Treasury anticipates that the first benchmark 4-month bill auction will be announced on October 18, 2022 and auctioned on October 19, 2022.  As noted previously, Treasury intends to maintain the Tuesday settlement and maturity cycle for the 4-month benchmark bill.

AMENDMENTS TO TREASURY AUCTION REGULATIONS

On July 7, 2022, Treasury issued a final rule that makes several technical amendments designed to modernize the auction regulations, enhance their clarity, and improve consistency in the use of terminology.  The amendments are effective on August 8, 2022.  Accordingly, the non-competitive bidding and award limits for all marketable Treasury securities auctions will increase from the current limit of $5 million to $10 million beginning with the auctions closing on Monday, August 8, 2022.

ADDITIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY

In June, Treasury, in consultation with the Inter-Agency Working Group on Treasury Market Surveillance, took an important step in its work to bolster Treasury market resilience by publishing a request for information to solicit public feedback on additional post-trade data transparency in secondary market transactions of Treasury securities.  Treasury encourages market participants to provide feedback during the 60-day public comment period, which remains open until August 26, 2022.

In addition, Treasury supports the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s recent proposed rule change to publish the aggregated U.S. Treasury Security transaction information and statistics on a more frequent basis, such as moving from weekly to daily publication.

Please send comments or suggestions on these subjects or others related to debt management to [email protected].

The next quarterly refunding announcement will take place on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.

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Minutes of the Meeting of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee August 2, 2022

The Committee convened in a closed session at the Department of the Treasury at 10:50 a.m.  All members were present.  Under Secretary for Domestic Finance Nellie Liang, Fiscal Assistant Secretary David Lebryk, Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets Josh Frost, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance Brian Smith, Director of the Office of Debt Management Fred Pietrangeli, and Deputy Director of the Office of Debt Management Nick Steele welcomed the Committee.  Other members of Treasury staff present were Shantanu Banerjee, Chris Cameron, Dave Chung, Gabriella Csepe, Alexander Demyanets, Tom Katzenbach, Chris Kubeluis, Kyle Lee, Jeff Rapp, Brett Solimine, Renee Tang, and Brandon Taylor.  Federal Reserve Bank of New York staff members Susan McLaughlin, Monica Scheid, Nathaniel Wuerffel, and Patricia Zobel were also present.  

Under Secretary Liang opened the meeting by welcoming Chris Leonard, a new member of the Committee, and thanking Brian Sack for his eight years of service on the Committee, including 2 years as the Committee’s Vice Chair.  Liang then briefly outlined recent efforts related to strengthening Treasury market resilience and other related priorities.

Next, Director Pietrangeli provided brief highlights of changes in receipts and outlays through Q3 FY2022. Receipts totaled $3.84 trillion, an increase of $779 billion (26%) compared to the same period last year, reflecting the strong economy.  Non-withheld and SECA taxes were exceptionally high, up $312 billion (42%), which preliminary analysis indicated may be due to capital gains related flows, among other factors.  Outlays totaled $4.35 trillion, a decrease of $944 billion (-18%) compared to the same period last year.  The largest decrease in outlays came from the Department of Treasury, which were $447 billion (-32%) lower.  The decrease was attributable predominantly to $702 billion lower Economic Impact Payments and Covid-related relief payments, partially offset by $123 billion in higher tax credits and $102 billion in higher interest on the public debt.

Pietrangeli then turned to deficit and privately-held marketable borrowing projections.  Primary dealers’ median estimates for privately-held marketable borrowing needs in FY2022 and FY2023 were around $1.7 and $1.6 trillion, respectively, similar to their estimates in May.  Looking farther out, the median estimate for FY2024 was around $1.3 trillion, a few hundred billion dollars lower than the estimate in May as a result of lower estimated SOMA redemptions.  Pietrangeli noted that these forecasts suggest that Treasury is well financed in FY2022 but moderately underfunded in FY2023 and FY2024, when holding coupon auction sizes stable at July 2022 levels and the level of Treasury bills constant at June 30, 2022 levels. 

Next, Deputy Director Steele summarized primary dealers’ outlook for issuance.  Primary dealers largely supported additional reductions to nominal coupon auction sizes this quarter, with most recommending cuts applied across the curve in similar size to the previous quarter.  Many dealers discussed the current low share of bills as a percentage of total marketable debt outstanding as supporting an additional round of coupon cuts.  Most dealers also believed that Treasury would be able to maintain coupon auction sizes at the November refunding, and that any additional financing needs could be met with additional bill issuance.  With regards to the 20-year bond, most primary dealers thought Treasury should consider slightly larger reductions in auction sizes relative to other tenors this quarter, with the large majority expecting a $2 billion reduction for the new and reopening issue sizes.  They noted these slightly larger reductions would further support 20-year liquidity in the secondary market, which continued to exhibit some signs of supply and demand imbalances.  Many primary dealers noted that when considering future adjustments to 20-year bond auction sizes, it was important for Treasury to continue to make announcements in a regular and predictable manner and ensure continued benchmark liquidity.

Next, Debt Manager Lee reviewed primary dealers’ expectations for bill demand.  Primary dealers broadly expected demand to remain robust in the near and medium term and pointed to the over $2 trillion participation in the Federal Reserve System’s Overnight Reverse Repo Facility as well as negative spreads to overnight interest rate swaps (OIS), as evidence that the market could easily absorb more bill supply.  In addition, macroeconomic and monetary policy uncertainty were cited as likely to continue to support investor demand for bills.  Primary dealers also noted the possibility for money market mutual funds’ (MMF) assets under management to increase going forward as banks continue to shed deposits.  Furthermore, a few noted that if proposed amendments to MMF rules were adopted, some investors could rotate out of prime MMFs into government MMFs. 

Next, the Committee turned to a presentation on a debt issuance model and the implications of recent developments for the model’s financing recommendations.  The presenting member noted that since the start of the pandemic, there have been substantial changes in the macroeconomic and fiscal environments, including an increase in the inflation rate, higher interest rates, a larger debt stock, and an expansion of the Federal Reserve System’s balance sheet.  While these developments translated into a higher expected cost of financing for a given level of risk, the model’s principal conclusions have not changed significantly. The updated model continues to suggest a favorable cost/risk tradeoff for more issuance in the short- and intermediate-maturity coupons, TIPS, and FRNs.  The presenting member concluded that Treasury should continue to evaluate the model results in the context of Treasury’s broader objective of regular and predictable issuance.  The Committee discussed the model and reaffirmed its view that the model continues to provide useful insight into debt management tradeoffs, though different calibrations and models could result in different outcomes, and should continue to be one input among many into the Committee’s recommendations.

Next, the Committee turned to a presentation on the desirability of regular buyback operations as a debt management tool.  The presenting member noted that the Committee had previously identified several potential benefits of regular buyback operations, such as smoothing bill issuance, dampening fluctuations in cash balances and reducing maturity peaks in outstanding debt.  An examination of the potential impact of such operations on liquidity conditions in the secondary market concluded that conducting buybacks in off-the-run securities while issuing liquid on-the-run securities could allow Treasury to enhance liquidity and lower long-term financing costs.  The presenting member then stated that the growth of the Treasury market and regulatory developments in recent years have reduced dealers’ intermediation capacity, resulting in more strained liquidity conditions, and suggested that the potential liquidity benefit of regular buyback operations may have now increased.

The Committee then turned to a discussion of the potential costs and benefits of buyback operations. While a majority of members agreed that regular buybacks could enhance liquidity, some participants emphasized that the operations had to be appropriately designed to help ensure that Treasury could effectively achieve its debt management goals.  It was noted that while a Treasury buyback program could have beneficial effects, it would not sufficiently address large shocks to liquidity conditions.  The Committee concluded by noting that further analysis of the issue, including potential limitations and design questions, was warranted.

Finally, the Committee discussed its financing recommendation for the upcoming quarters.  The Committee recommended that Treasury continue with coupon auction size reductions across the curve for the upcoming refunding quarter, with slightly larger reductions in the 20-year bond, similar to the cuts announced at the May quarterly refunding.  The Committee noted that another round of coupon reductions would result in a modest increase in the share of bills outstanding, which is currently at the lower end of the Committee’s recommended range of between 15 and 20%.  Regarding the 20-year bond, the Committee discussed its performance in the secondary market and unanimously agreed that Treasury should maintain the 20-year maturity point. The Committee also determined a disproportionately larger cut in the auction size would further bring supply closer in line with longer-term demand.  They noted that with the reductions suggested for this quarter, the 20-year bond auction size would be closer to the Committee’s recommended size prior to its re-introduction in May 2020.  In addition, the Committee unanimously agreed that Treasury should continue to increase TIPS modestly, consistent with prior increases to stabilize TIPS as a share of total debt outstanding.

The Committee adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

The Committee reconvened at 5:00 p.m.  The Chair summarized key elements of the Committee report for Secretary Yellen and followed with a brief discussion of recent market developments.

The Committee adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

 

 

_____________________________

Brian Smith

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance

United States Department of the Treasury

August 2, 2022

Certified by:

 

_________________________________

 

Elizabeth Hammack, Chair

Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee

August 2, 2022

 

Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee Quarterly Meeting

Committee Charge – August 2, 2022

 

Fiscal Outlook

Taking into consideration Treasury’s short, intermediate, and long-term financing requirements, as well as the variability in financing needs from quarter to quarter, what changes, if any, do you recommend to Treasury issuance?  Please also provide perspectives regarding market expectations for Treasury issuance, the effects of SOMA investments, the evolution of Treasury holdings by different types of investors, as well as auction calendar construction.

Regular Buyback Operations

Treasury last conducted “non-test” buyback operations between March 2000 and April 2002 to support its debt management goals during a period of budget surpluses.  In the last several years, Treasury has conducted regular test buyback operations to maintain operational capabilities.  Some have suggested that Treasury conduct buybacks to achieve various objectives, including promoting liquidity of on-the-run securities, improving cash management, and reducing variations in auction sizes (for example, see Garbade and Rutherford, 2007).  Should Treasury consider regular buyback operations?  If regular buyback operations were conducted, what considerations should inform their design?  How might regular buyback operations help Treasury achieve its objectives?  What are the key limitations of buyback operations, in particular during periods of market stress? 

Update on Debt Issuance Model

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been substantial changes to macroeconomic conditions, fiscal and monetary policy, and Treasury issuance.  Given these changes, pursuant to the extensive TBAC work over the last several years on an optimal debt model, please provide an update on the output of the model.  How have the model’s results changed and what have been the main drivers of those changes?  What insights can the model offer about the current stock of debt and upcoming issuance decisions?

Financing this Quarter

We would like the Committee’s advice on the following:

  • The composition of Treasury notes and bonds to refund approximately $54.1 billion of privately- held notes and bonds maturing on August 15, 2022.
  • The composition of Treasury marketable financing for the remainder of the July-September 2022 quarter.
  • The composition of Treasury marketable financing for the October-December 2022 quarter.

Statement from Former Treasury Secretaries on Inflation Reduction Act

“As former Treasury Secretaries of both Democratic and Republican Administrations, we support the Inflation Reduction Act  which is financed by prudent tax policy that will collect more from top-earners and large corporations. Taxes due or paid will not increase for any family making less than $400,000/year. And the extra taxes levied on corporations do not reflect increases in the corporate tax rate, but rather the reclaiming of revenue lost to tax avoidance and provisions benefitting the most affluent. The selective presentation by some of the distributional effects of this bill neglects benefits to middle-class families from reducing deficits, from bringing down prescription drug prices, and from more affordable energy. This legislation will help increase American competitiveness, address our climate crisis, lower costs for families, and fight inflation—and should be passed immediately by Congress.”

 

—Timothy F. Geithner, Jacob J. Lew, Henry M. Paulson Jr., Robert E. Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers

Acting Comptroller Discusses Cybersecurity Risks to Financial Sector

News Release 2022-94 | August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu today discussed cybersecurity risks facing the financial sector before the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council. In his remarks, Mr. Hsu discussed the risk of evolving cybersecurity threats, the risk to critical operations, and the risk of complacency, and highlighted the need for collaboration among public- and private-sector stakeholders to safeguard confidence in the financial sector.

Related Links

Media Contact

Stephanie Collins
(202) 649-6870

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo at the White House Summit on Building Lasting Eviction Prevention Reform

As prepared for delivery

Gene, thank you for the introduction and for all the work that you and many others on the line have done to help coordinate the implementation of the American Rescue Plan – and in particular the Emergency Rental Assistance Program – and your close work with Treasury.

When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law in March 2021, this country faced the prospect of a nationwide eviction crisis that was poised to disproportionately affect our nation’s most vulnerable communities.

To alleviate this crisis, the Biden-Harris Administration expanded the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help struggling renters and landlords. At the time, there had never before been a playbook or the infrastructure for distributing this kind of assistance at a national scale. 

Through our implementation of this program, we made a series of decisions designed to direct this assistance to renters in need as efficiently as possible with an eye towards building long-term eviction prevention infrastructure that you have heard about today.

Sixteen months later, the program has served millions of renters in need, with a meaningful portion of funds being used to champion new and innovative approaches to eviction prevention—some of which you have just heard in the last panel. 

Not only did this essential relief get out to people in time to prevent the eviction tsunami many feared would occur after the federal moratorium lifted, data shows these funds reached the lowest income renters and renters of color.

In 2021, 80% of funding reached very low-income households, and 40% of all primary applicants receiving assistance self-identified as Black and more than 20% self-identified as Latino. And Princeton University’s Eviction Lab found that millions of renters avoided the threat of eviction last year and that at the same time, low-income and majority-Black neighborhoods that typically see a disproportionate share of eviction cases experienced the largest absolute reduction in filings.

This outcome was not an accident. It came as a result of measures that we took together – Treasury, the White House, and grantees and advocates from across the country – to make sure that rental assistance got into the hands of those who needed it, and those who might otherwise have faced the devastating consequences of eviction.

Treasury has heard countless stories of programs going the extra mile to both proactively reach households most at risk of housing stability and avoid administrative pitfalls that might otherwise push them out of the process.  In March, I was in Memphis, meeting the folks who took an innovative approach to community engagement in their ERA program, including working with a local nonprofit organization to provide legal services to tenants facing evictions and enlisting law school faculty and student volunteers.

These examples of infrastructure development are not limited to urban areas. Many ERA programs that also serve rural areas have developed new infrastructure to reach tenants and landlords in more remote communities.  For example, states like North Dakota and Wyoming have taken more “hands on” approaches reaching and supporting “mom and pop” landlords within rural communities. Grantees have reported that these extra efforts have helped build trust in harder to reach areas and supported broader success of the programs.

With the remainder of ERA funds, Treasury encourages communities to consider continued investment in eviction prevention systems that can result in long-term change.   Many communities can, for instance, take advantage of the recently announced flexibility to use the last 25% of ERA2 funds to further enrich eviction prevention and housing stability services after October 1, 2022.  We have also encouraged grantees to use a portion of their American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to further these efforts—and we have seen this infrastructure continue to grow.  As of March 31, we have seen in Treasury data $12.9 billion dedicated to meet housing needs, including many communities using funds to support housing stability and eviction prevention services.

Now is the time to build on the legacy of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program through long-term changes in eviction prevention and housing stability programs. I have appreciated hearing about the innovative work being undertaken by today’s panelists and look forward to hearing about these developments in the future.

 

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