In the Media
Bowman Cloture. The full Senate is moving closer to voting on the nomination of Micki Bowman, Kansas state banking commissioner, to become a Federal Reserve Board Governor. During the week, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), scheduled a cloture vote on Bowman's nomination for November 14. Cloture is a procedural step just prior to a final vote by the full Senate. If she is confirmed, the Board would then have five Governors and two vacancies. CSBS supports Bowman's nomination.
Good News on the Economy. The Wall Street Journal reported on a speech delivered this week by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles, who discussed the economy and interest rates. Quarles: the economy is "in a good spot"...."all indicators currently are for a strong economy for a significant period into the future"....and "the more the economy's potential growth increases, the more gradual we can be in our removal of monetary policy accommodation." Plain English: interest rates are going up, but perhaps not as quickly as some might have thought. You can read Quarles' full speech here.
Warning Signs in the Housing Market. Also from the Wall Street Journal: "Home price growth has slowed...the volume of existing home sales has fallen...and there are a number of reasons to believe this shift will persist." One company that would be affected by a downshift: Freddie Mac, whose retiring CEO, Don Layton, interviewed with the American Banker: "I don't think there's going to be a strong down cycle, but we have to be prepared for it." Layton also discussed GSE reform.
E-Payments Fraud Rising. The Federal Reserve released a new report on fraud in electronic payments made through depository institutions. Key finding, per Politico Pro: "Non-cash payments fraud rose 37 percent from 2012 to 2015...or $8.3 billion." You can read the report here.
Fintech Update. The SEC has launched a "FinHub" on its website to organize fintech regulatory activities as well as provide industry and the public with related resources. Meanwhile, at a Washington event this week, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said that there are "a number of highly interested institutions" in the OCC's fintech charter...he expects formal applications by year end...and charter decisions by mid-2019...all per Politico Pro. CSBS opposes the fintech charter because it exceeds OCC's statutory mandate, and CSBS has said it will take its case to federal court "at a time deemed appropriate."
Election Predictions. Per the data analytics website FiveThirtyEight.com, the Republicans have an 80 percent chance of retaining a majority in the Senate, while the Democrats have an 84 percent chance of gaining a majority in the House of Representatives. Election Day is November 6.