FRB Interest Rate Policy (Nov. 9)

Mike & Co., 

A quick review of where topline issues stand after last week, followed by events of note this coming week. 

Tomorrow, a focus on what the Fed is facing next month or one of the items below if you’re fed up with Fed watching.




Last Week

  •  Highway Trust Fund to Conference.  Reauthorization bills adopted by both Houses last week with differences.  Staff are at work preparing a compromise to pass by November 20. Although many conferees remain to be named, timely enactment is likely.

   —  HTF/Offsets.   Stripped from the House bill were 1) a reduction to the Federal Reserve dividend rate and 2) an increase in the fees charged by Fannie Mae.

   —  HTF/Ex-Im.  House defeated 10 amendments that would have constrained the Export-Import Bank.  This insures that the original Bank reauthorization language will make it to conference with the Senate, probably next week.

  •  Strong October Jobs Report.  Main points:

   —  271,000 jobs were added to the economy, the most in a month this year, beyond analysts’ most optimistic forecast

   —  the unemployment rate dipped to five percent, now at or approaching full employment for the first time since February 2008

   —  wages rose at the fastest pace since 2009

  •   TPP Text and Timing:  The TPP text was released last week.  Congress still gets an up-or-down vote, and there will be at least three months of debate.  Because the president got fast-track authority in June, there can be no amendments or filibuster.  Obama must wait 90 days before he signs and sends the agreement to Congress, and the text of the accord must be made public for at least 60 of those days.  So the congressional vote could happen in January, just before the Iowa caucuses.


This Week

  •  Recess.  The House is in recess until Monday, Nov. 16.   The Senate is offWednesday.
  •  Debate.   Republicans debate again Tuesday, this time on the Fox Business Network, in Milwaukee
  •  Budget Process. Senate Budget hearing 10:30 am Thursday to “examine spending on unauthorized programs”


  •   FY16/17 Budget.  Democratic leaders are anticipating a weeks-long fight with Republicans who could attach controversial provisions, like defunding Planned Parenthood, to the spending legislation necessary to prevent a government shutdown later this year.  Possible repeal targets:  Obamacare, new environmental rules, and executive actions on immigration.


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