We’re firing up our Week Ahead post now that the August recess is over. It looks like Congress’ first week back won’t be entirely consumed with the healthcare reform debate after all: Hearings in the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee promise to revive discussion over regulatory restructuring and the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s financial rescue efforts.
But the burning question of the week won’t be an overarching reflection on the state of the financial markets and regulation; it will be a simple yes or no query: Will Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., continue chair the Senate Banking? Right now that’s anybody’s guess, but an answer could come this week.
The Federal Reserve will release its quarterly beige book report on economic conditions around the country.
The Treasury Department expects, tentatively at least, to release its data on the loan modifications banks participating in Obama’s foreclosure prevention program have made so far. There’s no specific time set for the announcement, and experience suggests it could likely be postponed.
Or perhaps it won’t be: Treasury is expected to have a presence at the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Opportunity hearing on the results of the Obama administration’s loan mod efforts. That 10am hearing would be the perfect place to reveal updated numbers on the progress of the plan.
Fannie Mae’s new chief executive, Michael Williams, will address the Exchequer Club luncheon meeting at 12:30pm.
The Fed will release its yearly compilation of lending data gathered from banks in accordance with fair lending laws. The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data are meant to offer a view into whether banks and other mortgage lenders are offering borrowers from all backgrounds the same shot at a good home loan, but a recent General Accountability Office report said they leave gaps in the overall picture of lending patterns.
At 1pm the Congressional Oversight Panel on Tarp is holding a hearing with one witness: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Senate banking will hold a 2:30pm hearing on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s failure to detect the $50 billion Ponzi scheme operated by Bernard Madoff. SEC Inspector General David Kotz will testify on the first panel. The second panel will include Harry Markopolos, the investor who tried several times to alert the SEC to Madoff’s scheme, Robert Khuzami, the SEC’s new head of enforcement, and Barry Minkow, co-founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute.
At 4:15pm, Fed Vice Chair Don Kohn will address the Brookings Institution to introduce a lecture on unconventional monetary policy by Columbia economist Ricardo Reis.