The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
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Bank supervisors have made significant strides since 1980 in the area of capital requirements, and they are currently pursuing further refinements. This article looks beyond such developments at longer term supervisory goals. Abstracting to some extent from the current regulatory framework, the author attempts to delineate a set of fundamental principles for future work on capital requirements. He distinguishes minimum capitalan objective standard imposed by regulators across firmsfrom optimum capitala subjective standard adopted by individual firms to cover their own risksand shows how the two concepts can form the basis for a general supervisory approach to capital.