Yellen Signals Rate Hike, Senate Democrats To Repeal Opioid Distribution Law
October 16, 2017
Senate Democrats introduce bill to repeal opioid distribution law; Congress nearing deal to loosen bank regulations; Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signals likely interest rate hike.
- Senate Democrats introduce bill to repeal opioid distribution law. Legislation introduced by a top Senate Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, would repeal an Obama-era bill that critics say has drastically restricted the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to investigate opioid distributors suspected of wrongdoing. The investigation concluded that a handful of members of Congress allied with the country’s major drug distributors helped pass an industry-friendly bill that weakened DEA enforcement efforts against distributors. Earlie this year, McCaskill launched an investigation into the sales and marketing practices of opioid manufacturers, trying to determine the role that manufacturers have played in the country’s opioid crisis. [The Hill]
- Congress nearing deal to loosen bank regulations. Top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said on Monday that Congress could act to exempt major United States banks from the Dodd-Frank Act banking rules by the end of 2017. Cohn, speaking at a banking industry conference in Chicago, said that the White House and lawmakers from both parties are close to reaching an agreement to raise the threshold at which a bank is considered a “systematically important financial institution” or “SIFI.” These banks are subject to stricter federal oversight and higher stability standards. Cohn said that the new SIFI threshold could be raise to at least $200 billion from its current $50 billion level. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signals likely interest rate hike. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sketched a bright outlook for the U.S. economy and for inflation prospects in the coming months. She said the impact of the recent hurricanes will likely slow economic growth slightly, but only temporarily and then should be followed by a rebound by year’s end. Most economists foresee an interest rate hike – the third this year – coming in December, in response to Yellen’s positive comments. Speaking to an international banking seminar, Yellen acknowledge the persistence of low inflation this year has been a surprise, but added that she expects inflation to start picking up as the effects of temporary factors, including falling prices for consumer cellphone service, begin to decrease. She also noted the strengthening of the labor market. [CNBC]