House Financial Services Committee
Everything went from bad to worse once Europe opened, and things started going "bump in the morning" across the European banking sector, where not only has it been more of the same with CDS spreads for major banks - most notably Deutsche Bank - continuing their surge wider, but also EM spreads to Bunds all following, with the Portugal-Germany Yield spread blowing out above 300 bps for the first time since 2014, and other peripheral nations following.
At Berkshire’s annual meeting last May, Buffett said he made “no apologies whatsoever” about Clayton’s “exemplary” lending, in response to a question about an earlier Seattle Times story saying that Clayton trapped borrowers into unaffordable loans on depreciating homes. Well it seems the billionaire will need to send some more donations in as yesterday, four members of Congress sent a joint letter demanding an investigation into predatory practices at Warren Buffett’s mobile home unit Clayton Homes.
Janet Yellen’s astonishing letter to the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is a sign that the central bank is panicking over the fact that Congress is unhappy with the job it has been doing.
In one of four speaking appearances by high profile Fed officials on Wednesday, Donald Trump's favorite "politicized" central planner Janet Yellen is set to testify before the House Financial Services Committee this morning.
Q. Should somebody have gone to jail.
Bernanke: Yeah, yeah I think so. It would have been my preference to have more investigation of individual actions as obviously everything that went wrong, or was illegal, was done by some individial not by an abstract firm.
The combination of another debt limit fight, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and prospect of another government shutdown tearing his party apart, the GOP just suffered its latest major blow, when news hit that House speaker John Boehner, just 24 hours after getting a visit by none other than the Pope, is folding one last time: according to the NYT, "Speaker John A. Boehner will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October."
One of the most curiously persistent surrealisms of Washington, DC is the reflexive deference given the Federal Reserve System. The Washington elite tends to accord more infallibility to the Fed than do Catholics the Pope.
Yesterday she faced the wrath of Hensarling and Duffy in her Congressional hearing, today Fed Chair Janet Yellen pops over to The Senate. We suspect the rhetoric will be a little less aggressive as traders are interested to see if she walks back her comments yesterday that appeared to signal more hawkish "sooner" rate hikes. Of course, the main event will be when Elizabeth Warren is unleashed...
While Janet Yellen's prepared remarks were her normal bland data-dependent-when-we-want-to-be, rate-hikes-maybe-sooner-or-later self, we suspect the Q&A of The Fed Chair's Humphey-Hawkins testimony will be worth the price of admission. Face to face with Jeb Hensarling - who dares to demand The Fed respond to Congressional probes - will be a highlight but it will be interesting to see if the politicians suck up to their debt-monetizer-in-chief or try to score politically populist points with elections not so very far away...
Yellen Statement To Congress: Rate Hike "Appropriate At Some Point This Year" If Economy Evolves As Expected - Full TextSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/15/2015 07:37 -0500
Key highlights from the first day of Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress: " If the economy evolves as we expect, economic conditions likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate target, thereby beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy. Indeed, most participants in June projected that an increase in the federal funds target range would likely become appropriate before year-end. But let me emphasize again that these are projections based on the anticipated path of the economy, not statements of intent to raise rates at any particular time."
Just when the Chinese plunge protection team (and "arrest shortie" task force) seemed to be finally getting "malicious selling" under control, first we saw a crack yesterday when the composite broke the surge of the past three days as a result of yet another spike in margin debt funded purchases, but it was last night's reminder that "good news is bad news" that really confused the stock trading farmers and grandmas, which goalseeked Chinese economic "data" beat across the board, with Q2 GDP coming solidly above expectations at 7.0%, and retail sales and industrial production both beating, but in the process raising doubts that the PBOC will continue supporting stocks.
When last we checked in with Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, he was in the process of learning a frustrating lesson about central bankers in the post-crisis world. Namely, that whatever pretension of accountability the position of Fed chair retained in the lead up to the crisis disappeared entirely when Ben Bernanke 'saved the world' from financial armageddon in 2008.
With The IMF (and Germany to a less extent) apparently peeing in the Greek Deal pool, perhaps it is worth considering what happens next if this "Greece is rescued" deal is not done. Who can save Greece? Who will pay The IMF? Why, that's simple, the good ol' American taxpayer thanks to The Fed's lifeline...
Just a few days after Jeb Hensarling accused The Fed of "willful obstruction" in the Congressional leak probe, demanding "immediate compliance" with the subpoena seeing "no legal basis to withhold records from Congress," Janet Yellen has responded in a letter: YELLEN REPEATS FED CAN'T PROVIDE DOCUMENTS ON LEAK PROBE. If this does not confirm The Fed is utterly above the law, we are not sure what it will take to convince skeptics of the need for an independent audit. As Hensarling previously noted, this appears to be "vigorous and coordinated obstruction.”
When has crony capitalism really gotten out of control? How about when a major U.S. corporation (a huge defense contractor, no less) is publicly threatening government officials to leave the country if the federal government doesn’t continue to boost their profits through government handouts...