House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank is determined not to waste Congress´ last week in session before the July 4 break: He plans to charge ahead with regulatory restructuring hearings. The Senate Banking Committee will also hold a hearing on part of the regulatory restructuring effort. Elsewhere in Washington, the Federal Open Market Committee will meet-though the outcome of that gathering isn´t really a nail-biter. Afterwards, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be called to justify Bank of America´s acquisition of Merrill Lynch to Congress.
Senate Banking will hold a 3pm hearing on the regulation of over-the-counter derivatives. The first panel will consist of regulators: Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro; Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler; and A. Patricia White, associate director of the Fed´s division of Research and Statistics. The second panel will consist of derivatives experts, including University of Texas Law Professor Henry Hu; Citadel Investment Group CEO Kenneth Griffin, and Institutional Risk Analytics Managing Director Chris Whalen.
The Fed will begin its two-day FOMC meeting.
Frank will convene a 10am Financial Services Committee hearing on a consumer protection regulator. A witness list hasn´t yet been announced, but a spokesman for Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law professor who came up with the idea of a separate regulator for financial products, said Warren is scheduled to appear.
The Fed will conclude its two-day meeting.
Bernanke will testify to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at 10am on BofA´s takeover of Merrill during the height of the credit crisis.
The full Financial Services Committee will hold a 10am hearing on preserving affordable housing assistance at the state and federal levels; later, the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will address financial literacy in the new regulatory regime at 2pm.