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Financial Services Update – March 25, 2011

Bernanke to Hold Regular Press Briefings

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced that Chairman Ben Bernanke will begin holding press briefings four times per year to present the Federal Open Market Committee’s current economic projections. In 2011, the Chairman’s briefings will be held on April 27, June 22 and November 2.

Fed Rejects Bank of America Dividend Increase

On Wednesday, Bank of America announced that the Federal Reserve had vetoed its plans for a dividend increase in the second half of 2011. Bank of America did not disclose the central bank’s reason for rejecting the dividend proposal, and the Fed declined to comment on how individual institutions fared in its latest round of examinations. The Bank said it had originally submitted its dividend proposal to the Fed in January, and it now intends to submit a revamped dividend proposal at a later date.

Treasury Department Opposes Tax Repatriation Holiday

On Wednesday, Michael Mundaca, the Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, announced that he opposed proposals to give corporations a tax holiday on their overseas profits. Mundaca pointed to an earlier assessment from the Joint Committee on Taxation that estimated the tax holiday would cost billions, rather than raise revenue as proponents have argued. He added that a second holiday might even weigh even more heavily on revenue, by encouraging multinationals to shift even more profits overseas. The federal government currently taxes businesses up to 35 percent on overseas earnings. Win America, a coalition of multinational corporations including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Pfizer, argues that a temporary tax holiday would allow businesses to invest an estimated $1 trillion in America, creating jobs in the process.

Treasury Announces Mortgage-Backed Securities Sale

On Monday, the Treasury Department announced that it will begin to sell its portfolio of $142 billion in agency-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) amassed during the financial crisis. Starting this month, the department plans to sell up to $10 billion in MBSs per month subject to market conditions. The sales are expected to generate a profit for taxpayers of $15 billion to $20 billion. The Fed currently holds just under $945 billion of MBSs on its balance sheet.

More Information

If you have any questions regarding any of these issues, please contact:

Matt Jessee, Policy Advisor
1 314 259 2463

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Financial Services Update

Financial Services Update

August 13, 2010

Authored by: Matt Jessee

Treasury-HUD “Conference on the Future of Housing Finance”

Next Tuesday, August 17th, the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Housing & Urban Development (HUD) will co-host the “Conference on the Future of Housing Finance,” an open press, day long event where Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will moderate panel discussions which will include the following panelists: Barbara J. Desoer, President of Bank of America Home Loans; Ingrid Gould Ellen, Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at New York University; · Bill Gross, Co-founder and Co-chief Investment Officer of PIMCO; Mike Heid, Co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; S.A. Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of Radian Group Inc.; Marc H. Morial, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League; Alex Pollock, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Lewis Ranieri, Chairman of Ranieri and Company, Inc.; Ellen Seidman, Ellen Seidman, Executive Vice President ShoreBank Corporation; Michael A. Stegman, Director of Policy and Housing at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susan Wachter, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School; Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics. Sources indicate the topic of eliminating GSEs could emerge as one of the most contentious points of discussion.

July Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index Reports Released

On Friday, the Department of Commerce released its July retail sales report showing an increase of 0.4% during the month. This positive report follows Mary and June sales figures showing consecutive declines. The Department of Labor also issued its July consumer prices report for July on Friday showing the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent. The June report also showed prices fell 0.1 percent, and therefore such positive July figures could ease concerns about deflation.  

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