The week kicks off with a proposal announced by President Obama on Sunday February 21 to give the federal government the ability to block excessive rate increases by healthcare insurance providers in advance of the White House healthcare summit scheduled for Thursday February 25.
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) as chairman of the Senate banking committee is expected to introduce a financial industry re-regulation bill this week that would make the Treasury secretary chief of a regulatory council charged with monitoring systemic risk. Giving such oversight power to a Cabinet member would be a significant departure from the current system where independent regulators operate with autonomy and do not serve at the pleasure of the chief executive.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index which tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S. is scheduled for release on Tuesday February 23. The data is reported monthly with a two-month lag, meaning that this week’s release will be for December 2009.