Financial research advisory panel sets meeting to discuss LIBOR-SOFR transition, leveraged lending

With a new director of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) now in place (after confirmation by the Senate last week), the Treasury’s Financial Research Advisory Committee is scheduling a meeting for next month in New York to discuss a new international benchmark interest rate for short-term, interbank loans, and leveraged lending.

The meeting, set for July 11 at 9 a.m. (in the Benjamin Strong Room at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 33 Liberty Street, New York), was somewhat hastily arranged, as indicated by the Treasury’s Federal Register notice for the meeting. “Due to scheduling challenges, this meeting is being announced with less than 15 days’ notice,” the notice stated. The session is open to the public.

Topics to be discussed include leveraged lending and transitioning from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to the new Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), designated as a replacement for the LIBOR.

The committee provides advice to the OFR, with the intention of “bringing diverse perspectives to inform the OFR’s research-and-data agendas and helping the OFR to fulfill its mission,” according to the OFR.

Dino Falaschetti, the new OFR director, was confirmed by the Senate just last week to a six-year term. His nomination had been pending for a year. A former chief economist for the House Financial Services Committee, Falaschetti succeeded Richard B. Berner in the position, who resigned.

The OFR was established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 to help to “promote financial stability by looking across the financial system to measure and analyze risks, perform essential research, and collect and standardize financial data.” The OFR is responsible for collecting and standardizing data on financial institutions and their activities and for supporting the work of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the umbrella group made up of the five federal financial institution regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Treasury Department.

Open meeting of the Financial Research Advisory Committee