21 06, 2023


2023-06-21T17:19:57-04:00June 21st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Advances Post-SVB Proposals

HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) today released ten Democratic bills in response to recent bank failures, noting — as is indeed the case for at least some of these measures – that Republicans expressed interest in them at the last committee mark-up.   That said, today’s hearing with Chairman Powell (see forthcoming FedFin analysis) indicates that Republicans will launch a full-bore attack on higher bank-capital requirements.

Unusual Bipartisanship Advances Senate Clawback Bill

We will await text to determine the full impact of the bill approved today by Senate Banking, but the 21-2 vote makes it clear that it will have no trouble navigating the Senate floor unless more controversial riders are attached.  We doubt this will be the case given the clear intention on both sides of the aisle to agree on a viable approach to executive clawbacks, moving away from the Warren-Vance bill (see FSM Report COMPENSATION36) to give the FDIC discretion to preserve “white-knight” compensation and slightly limit the bill’s scope.

Schumer Lays Out Senate’s AI Approach

Kicking off a high-priority Senate action plan, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) today laid out his AI framework dubbed the Safe Innovation Framework.  Acknowledging that Congress knows very little about AI and what regulation is needed, he did not indicate any specifics or timing on upcoming legislation beyond outlining the framework’s priorities.


17 03, 2022


2023-04-03T14:33:52-04:00March 17th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed, FHFA Leadership Advance

As anticipated last night, the Senate Banking Committee yesterday advanced all the Fed nominations and that of Sandra Thompson as FHFA director.  However, Lisa Cook’s nomination was tied on a strictly partisan basis, meaning that it was not approved by Senate Banking but is nonetheless discharged to Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY).

HFSC Hikes Array of Anti-Russia Sanctions

In the first of a series of markups, HFSC today approved 5 bills ramping up sanctions against Russia and Belarus.  The most controversial of them, H.R. 7080 (Waters, D-CA), would broaden FinCEN’s ability to obtain information about the transactions of Russian oligarchs in the US.

Chopra Uses Rate Hike to Press Competition Inquiries

Describing the CFPB as “the arm of the Federal Reserve System that is fully focused on consumers,” Director Chopra today issued a statement following yesterday’s rate hike.

Senate Democrats Take Turns Whacking Wells Fargo

Senior Democrats today took sharp issue with Wells Fargo’s refi lending, asserting it was discriminatory and seeking an array of data from the bank and action by federal agencies.  Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH), Majority Whip Durbin (D-IL), and other senators called on HUD and the CFPB to investigate findings in a recent Bloomberg story, confining their comments to a general attack on discrimination without setting a date for a reply or any specific matters the agencies are to review.


7 03, 2022


2023-04-04T12:36:43-04:00March 7th, 2022|3- This Week|

The Fog of War

As we anticipated last week, the focus on the Fed usually transfixing Congressional hearings with the central bank’s chairman shifted to the grievous global geopolitical situation.  As Mr. Powell told HFSC and then Senate Banking, the Fed plays no official role in deciding whom the White House chooses to sanction and Members were too tactful to ask for a public description of the Fed’s formidable behind-the-scenes role on these critical decisions.  Even the discussion of whether the U.S. should have a CBDC was cloaked in how doing so might affect U.S. economic hegemony.  Still, Congress always has time for a political brawl and the fight that most directly involves the Fed is the one swirling around the Biden Administration’s nominees to join its Board of Governors.


10 01, 2022


2023-04-25T14:19:06-04:00January 10th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: Powell, Brainard Confirmations Confront Challenges

Many of you have asked us to forecast key policy implications ahead of two high-powered hearings this week considering President Biden’s top Fed nominees.  We will as usual provide clients with in-depth analyses after the Senate Banking Committee ponders Chairman Powell’s nomination for a second term on Tuesday and Gov. Brainard’s to become vice chair on Thursday.  Now, we explain why we think Mr. Powell’s confirmation chances – while still good – are not the slam-dunk many media sources suggest and why Gov. Brainard also faces a challenging outlook.  We will not consider the odds that an appointment in the next few days of Sarah Bloom Raskin as vice chair for supervision will alter the political calculus except to say that the last time the White House tried this Sen. Warren (D-MA) didn’t budge.  We don’t expect she will this time.  This report does not consider other pending nominations to join the Board of Governors because none of them are likely to affect policy debate except when it comes to demands for greater Fed diversity.




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