The House of Representatives votes to ease regulations on banks
May 23, 2018
The House of Representatives voted on two bills, one aimed at easing regulations on many but the largest banks, the second allowing patients to bypass the FDA in requesting companies’ approval on experimental drugs. Mortgage applications are down this week due to sharp rate increases.
House votes to ease regulations on many but the largest banks. The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to ease regulations on financial institutions in S. 2155, by decreasing reporting requirements for financial institutions for banks with total assets under $250 billion dollars. The bill is a pared down version of the CHOICE Act the House passed last year, which more fully repealed the Dodd-Frank Act passed in the wake of the financial crisis. The bill also repeals the Volcker rule for firms with less than $10 billion in assets, allowing banks to make certain riskier trades with depositors’ funds. Some policymakers attribute declining community banking to over regulation, and proponents argue the bill will reduce systemic risk by spreading assets amongst more institutions. Opponents argue that widely available credit and record profits indicate that deregulation in the financial sector is unnecessary. The legislation now goes to the desk of President Trump. [The Hill]
The House of Representatives voted in favor of “Right to Try” legislation. The House voted Tuesday to approve “Right to Try” legislation, allowing patients to bypass the FDA in requesting companies’ approval to use experimental drugs if patients have a terminal diagnosis. Critics argue the legislation is unnecessary, as patients may already avail themselves of the FDA’s compassionate use program, which grants similar permissions in over 99% of cases. Proponents argue the legislation gives terminally ill patients more tools at their disposal to try experimental drugs. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators and News
Rate jump prompts declining refinances. Mortgage applications are down 2.6% this week, due to sharp rate increases. Lower applications were most concentrated in refinancing, down 10.5% from a year ago when interest rates were markedly lower. Refinancing is 27% declined since last year, and refinances now make up just 1/3 mortgage applications. 30-year mortgage rates jumped to 4.86%, the highest levels since 2011. [CNBC]