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Banking

Introduction | State of the District | Commercial Real Estate Spotlight | National Banking Trends


Introduction

By Michael Johnson, Senior Vice President
Supervision & Regulation
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


Jackie MorganWelcome to the inaugural installment of "ViewPoint"! As the senior officer for supervision at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, I look forward to using this segment of Financial Update to periodically share with you our perspectives on the performance and condition of the banks in the Sixth Federal Reserve District and to discuss the supervisory priorities, challenges, and emerging risks on our radar screen.

While I cannot speak for any of you, I frankly do not remember a time in my career marked by as much uncertainty as we are experiencing today. Hopefully, through this quarterly column, I can bring some measure of clarity and focus to what at times can be a confusing supervisory landscape. Likewise, I trust you will feel at liberty to engage me on matters you find to be of mutual interest by using the dedicated e-mailbox at ViewPoint@atl.frb.org.

But before we get into this edition's content, I thought I would share with you just a bit of my background leading up to my current position at the Atlanta Fed. I am a career bank supervisor, having started with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 1985. As you can imagine, I gained tremendous experience working during the S&L and banking crises of the time. In 1995, I moved to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where I was able to broaden my supervisory exposure even further to include roles in international and large bank supervision. Beginning this year, it has been my pleasure to lead our supervisory efforts here with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and I am looking forward to a long tenure and, like you, a return to stability in the financial industry.

Well, enough of my story. In this inaugural edition of "ViewPoint," we discuss the current condition of Sixth Federal Reserve District banks, which will be a quarterly recurring feature, and which is followed by our assessment of the evolving commercial real estate (CRE) outlook. The CRE summary provides a synopsis, but there is a lot more interesting information and analysis available in the accompanying "ViewPoint" articles.

Further, I could not resist providing a few comments on the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation and a link to a summary of the latest Basel III standards. I'm sure we will have plenty of commentary on those developments in future editions.

Dodd-Frank

There continues to be a lot of work under way related to the implementation of Dodd-Frank, but honestly, more questions remain than answers. What we do know is that Elizabeth Warren will serve as special adviser to the Treasury Secretary and the President for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Not as widely reported but equally important, Treasury also announced the CFPB's official launch date as July 21, 2011, one year from passage of the legislation. Beyond those announcements, I believe most efforts related to the CFPB to date are focused on the transition insofar as establishing its infrastructure and support systems. Draft rule-writing to implement the many provisions of Dodd-Frank will be the emphasis over the coming months (and years), and I am sure we'll be discussing these in detail in future installments of "ViewPoint".

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