Banking Committee Bill Will Help Small Banks
May 20, 2015
Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee will announce a bill today that is designed to help small banks and credit unions and to counter the banking-sector oversight legislation introduced last week by Richard Shelby (R-AL), which would increase scrutiny of the Federal Reserve.
• Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee will announce a bill today that is designed to help small banks and credit unions and to counter the banking-sector oversight legislation introduced last week by Richard Shelby (R-AL), which would increase scrutiny of the Federal Reserve. The Democratic proposal, sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), would alter some rules affecting small banks, like exempting them from some federal mortgage underwriting standards if they hold les than $10 billion in assets. Community banking groups from 48 states signed a letter to members of the Committee on Monday, urging swift Congressional action on regulatory relief. [WSJ]
• The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 on Tuesday to support Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour from its current $9 by 2020. The wage hike would be phased over the remainder of the decade and includes a gradual rise to $10.50 for large employers in 2016 with incremental increases each year until it reaches $15 in 2020. Companies with 25 or fewer workers would follow a slightly delayed schedule. Los Angeles is following trends in several other large cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, and Louisville, to set targets for minimum pay higher than the federally mandated wage floor, which has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. [Reuters]
Economic Indicators & News
• The Federal Reserve just released minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting (April 28-29), which indicate that a rise in interest rates in June is unlikely. Meanwhile, the Bank of England voted unanimously 9-0 to hold interest rates at 0.5% during May, though optimistic members of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee cite the prospects of wage growth and increased inflation as reason for increasing interest rates in the near future. Low inflation in the United Kingdom—around 0.5%—can be explained by low energy and food prices, which are expected to soon rise. [Fed] [FT]
• Output in Japan grew at an annualized pace of 2.4% in the first quarter, its largest gain in output in over a year. Private consumption, however, rose by only 0.4%. Private residential and non-residential investment rose by 7.5% and 1.4%, respectively, but public investment fell by 5.5%. The trade deficit grew by 2.1% while government expenditures increased 0.4%. [WSJ]