The U.S. Federal Reserve announced Friday it will allow the expiration of an emergency suspension on certain bank-capital rules. The temporary measure was enacted last year when the coronavirus hit.
The Fed had been letting banks exclude cash and government bonds on their balance sheet when calculating their Supplementary Leverage Ratios (SLR), a gauge of capital adequacy. That rule will not be extended and will expire at the end of March, the Fed said in a statement.
The Fed added that it would “seek comment” on adjusting the SLR exemption and will take action to make sure that the changes “don’t erode the overall strength of bank capital requirements.” In April 2020, the exemption allowed banks to support the Treasury market, and expand the size of their balance sheets.
The Fed's announcement "is causing a dollar pop and a bit of a dump in risk assets as it reduces bank liquidity," CrossTower Head of Trading Chad Steinglass said in an emailed statement.
Bitcoin, while often cast by cryptocurrency analysts as a potential hedge against inflation, is still considered by many Wall Street investors to be a risky asset, and it often ends up trading in sync with stocks rather than safer plays like bonds.
Prices for bitcoin briefly retreated early Friday as the decision was announced but have since recovered. As of 15:18 UTC (11:18 a.m. ET), the largest cryptocurrency was changing hands at $58,884.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.