The latest from our Washington DC insider:
Humphrey-Hawkins hearings announced. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will deliver his semiannual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee at 10 AM, Tuesday, February 26th and to House Financial Services Committee at 10 AM, Wednesday, February 27th. I will forward transcripts as soon as they become available.
President Trump’s schedule (EST):
12:45 PM: Receives his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
“Congress Moves to Counter OPEC’s Pursuit of Pact With Russia.” Last night’s Wall Street Journalarticle led with:
WASHINGTON—A bipartisan group of U.S. senators rolled out a bill [press release] Thursday that would allow the Justice Department to sue members of OPEC for antitrust violations as the oil cartel looks to formalize closer ties with Russia.Sens. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah)—all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the bill would likely be considered before being taken up by the full Senate—unveiled the legislation. That comes one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies are backing a formal partnership with a 10-nation group led by Russia to try to manage the global oil market. Such an alliance would transform the cartel.“The oil cartel and its member countries need to know that we are committed to stopping their anticompetitive behavior,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement.The senators dubbed their bill the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC. Separately, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously advanced a parallel measure that will now require approval by the full House.This bill has been around since June, 2000 without becoming law. Strong oil industry opposition and a veto threat from President George W. Bush kept it from enactment in 2007 and again in 2008 despite passage in different bills by veto-proof margins in both houses of Congress. More in this CRS report. I doubt it will be enacted this time as well.