It’s time for the Senate to stop talking and start voting on Sen. Chris Dodd’s financial services reform bill, following a report last week on what the bill would cost from the Congressional Budget Office, a speech at Cooper Union in New York by President Obama calling for reform, and a Republican filibuster attempt. Democrats will seek to break that logjam with a procedural vote on Monday, April 26, expected some time after that body convenes at 2:00 PM Eastern.
A number of interest groups are conducting last-minute campaigns to have their needs met in the legislation, including the Financial Planning Coalition, which gave an update on its lobbying efforts during the FPA Retreat on April 23, and some insurance companies, such as the USAA, which is urging its (mainly U.S. military-associated) members to lobby Congress against the so-called “Volcker rule” that would limit a bank or insurance company’s investment options. The FPA leadership, by the way, presented its priorities during last week’s FPA Retreat.
Perhaps the biggest market-moving news of the week will come Friday, April 30, when the Commerce Department releases the preliminary GDP estimates for the first quarter;
The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday, April 27, making its announcement on April 28. On the same day comes the State Street Investor Confidence Index and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence report, along with the Case/Shiller S&P home price index; the last business day of the week and the month brings the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, and last but not least comes the first report on first quarter GDP.