In the Media: Week of Oct. 22, 2018
Future Fed Actions. On the DC speaking circuit, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida weighed in on everyone's favorite topic: interest rates. "I believe some further gradual adjustment in the federal funds rate will be appropriate." Translation: rates will continue to rise. On an especially positive note, Clarida offered the view that further economic expansion might not trigger inflation. You can read his speech here. Meanwhile, the Fed announced that next week it will consider new regs applying to banks with assets between $100-250 billion. Politico Pro described the prospective action as "the most closely watched part of the Fed's implementation of the new bank deregulation law." And if you want to know how Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is handling the politics of his job, read this article by The Washington Post.
Current FDIC Actions. Another piece of good news: "More Americans had federally insured bank accounts in 2017 than at any point since the 2008 financial crisis," reported Politico Pro. That finding came from an FDIC report issued this week on the banked and unbanked. Unbanked households are down to 6.5 percent. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams: "The good news is that our nation's banking system is serving more American households than ever before. The bad news is that...8.4 million households continue to lack a banking relationship." You can read the full report here. Meanwhile, American Banker reported that McWilliams told a bankers' meeting that the agency will open an office to innovation to enable banks to innovate more through technology.
CFPB Consumer Complaints. The agency issued a report this week this CFPB is getting a lot of mail from big states: California, Florida and Texas. Those states account for roughly 30 percent of all the complaints consumers had about a financial institution from January 2017 to June 2018. Not terribly surprising given that, well, a lot of people live there. New York and Georgia were next highest. All told, CFPB received nearly half a million complaints during this period. Interestingly, as American Banker reported: "Whereas in 2016 consumer complaints focused on debt collection more than any other financial service, credit and consumer reporting issues was the most prevalent area drawing complaints in 2017." You can see how your state fared by reading the full report here.
CSBS Sues OCC. See our announcement here. This article from The New York Times and Reuters is a sampling of media reports. "Common sense and the law tell us that a nonbank is not a bank," said CSBS President and CEO John Ryan on why state financial regulators oppose the OCC's decision to extend national bank charters to entities that would still operate as nonbanks.
Election Day Countdown. With just 11 days to go, forecasts have remained pretty stable. Per the data analytics firm FiveThirtyEight.com: the odds strongly favor Democrats winning a majority of the House of Representatives (85 percent chance) and Republicans holding the Senate (82 percent).