Capital standards must be simplified and strengthened to contain the impulse for excessive leverage and to provide a more effective backstop to absorb unexpected losses. Using a straightforward ratio of tangible equity capital to total assets is a more conservative, more credible method of assessing capital adequacy because it counts as the only capital only that can truly absorb losses.
Statement by FDIC Vice Chairman Hoenig on the Proposed Supplemental Leverage Ratio
"The supplemental leverage ratio should be adopted as proposed. The leverage ratio represents a minimum acceptable level of capital against total tangible assets and is the appropriate measure to judge the capital soundness of an institution. The discussion of unconventional monetary policy on excess reserves and its effect on the composition and risks affecting the balance sheet is a separate discussion."