Essential financial news & intel to start your week.
May 30, 2021
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Morning Consult Finance will be off Monday for Memorial Day. Publication will resume Tuesday.


Hope everyone takes this week to get a bit of a breather. Today in hard-hitting reporting, no one can tell me if Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan ever got out of the apparent college dormitory he’s been taking Zoom calls in. 


Before this week, how long had it been since Morning Consult’s consumer sentiment fell? 


A: One month B: Two months C: Three months D: Four months


Scroll to the bottom for your answer.


What’s Ahead

The House and the Senate aren’t in session. 


The Bank Policy Institute and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association will hold their eighth annual Prudential Regulation Conference on Wednesday and Thursday. Why it’s worth watching: Speakers this year include Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Banking subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment, and Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles. Quarles last week became the highest-ranking Fed official to say he’s open to conversations about tapering the central bank’s bond-buying program; at this panel, I’m looking for further comments on the Fed’s support to the U.S. economy. With this audience, he’s also likely to address some lingering bank policy questions, like permanent adjustments to the Supplementary Leverage Ratio and other coronavirus-era regulatory easements for banks. 


It’s jobs day on Friday. Why it’s worth watching: Last month’s disappointing jobs report drew headlines across the country, so we’ll find out Friday if that trend was a dip — or if we’re in for a longer economic recovery than expected. There are early indicators on both sides: Jobless claims have shown improvement, but Morning Consult’s measure of consumer confidence is showing some of the first dips in months. Another economic release coming this week that’s worth keeping an eye on is the Fed’s Beige Book, out Wednesday afternoon


Events Calendar


Week in Review

  • The Biden administration released its $6 trillion budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, bringing the federal government to its highest level of sustained spending since World War II. The increase — an $8.2 trillion rise by 2031 — is driven by Biden’s plans on the social safety net and other discretionary spending, including funding for affordable child care, universal prekindergarten and a national paid leave program. 
  • Federal Reserve officials started talking about tapering: Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles made comments to that effect at a Brookings Institution event. 
  • Bank CEOs go to Washington: The heads of the largest U.S. banks fielded questions on everything from voting rules to climate change in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. In front of the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, the CEOs were asked about inflation and what they’ll do to ensure that Americans avoid foreclosures after government aid to mortgage holders expires.
  • Infrastructure talks continue: After talks looked stalled last week, Republicans are now trying to put together a compromise package of about $1 trillion, a significant jump from their previous $568 billion offer. But some Democrats have said it’s not a “serious” counteroffer.
  • Cryptocurrency draws eyes in Washington: Career staffers at the Treasury Department reportedly briefed White House aides on cryptocurrency, and the issue has been raised in conversations with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 
Stat of the Week

120 days


The number of days Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had from the enactment of the COVID-19 economic relief bill to testify in front of the House Small Business Committee. Both Democratic and Republican leadership on the committee criticized Yellen for not showing up to last week’s hearing. Read more from me here.

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