First, there were rumors of planned leaks this weekend, then anticipation grew that the big news would come Monday or Tuesday, but now the truth is out: The stress tests "results," whatever they may "be," aren´t going to be released until Thursday. And not until after the market closes, at that. For the better part of the week, bankers and other market participants will have to distract themselves from the anxiety of the wait with the antics on Capitol Hill. The House is planning to vote on Rep. Barney Frank´s mortgage reform and predatory lending bill, while the Senate hopes to vote on Sen. Chris Dodd´s legislation increasing the FDIC´s borrowing authority. Dodd also wants to bring his card bill to the Senate floor.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to testify before the Joint Economic Committee, though details have yet to be released.
The House Financial Services Committee will hold a 10 a.m. a hearing called "The Effect of the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy on State and Local Governments." Witnesses have yet to be announced. Later, at 2pm, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will address "The role of inspectors general." No witnesses announced for that hearing, either.
Today marks the beginning of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Conference on Bank Structure and Competition at the Hotel InterContinental in Chicago.
The Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will look at ways to prevent mortgage and loan modification fraud, starting at 10am. No witnesses have been announced.
The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on "too big to fail" starting at 9:30am. Witnesses will appear in two panels. The first will include Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chariman Sheila Bair and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Gary Stern. The second panel will include The American Enterprise Institute´s Peter Wallison; The Brookings Institution´s Martin Baily; and University of Chicago Finance Professor Raghuram G. Rajan.
Bernanke will address the Chicago Fed conference at 9:30am. Following his speech is a panel on regulatory restructuring. Diane Casey-Landry, the American Bankers Association´s COO and senior executive vice president, will be among the panelists. And Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair will give the keynote luncheon speech shortly after noon.
Back in Washington, the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets will look at hedge fund registration, starting at 11am. No witnesses yet.
Senate Banking will hold a hearing on the Securities and Exchange Commission´s enforcement capabilities. Witnesses will include Richard Hillman, the managing director of the Financial Markets and Community Investment division at the Government Accountability Office; Robert Khuzami, the director of the SEC´s enforcement division; and University of Mississippi Law School Professor Mercer Bullard.
The stress test results will be released after the close of the markets.
Bair is scheduled accept an award at the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Dinner, hosted by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The dinner will start at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Washington.
John Allison, BB&T´s chairman, will give the keynote address at the luncheon today at the Chicago Fed conference.