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Washington
Next monetary policy hearings not likely to be routine
WASHINGTON (7/11/08)—Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke is slated to present his semi-annual economic forecast before Congress twice next week. Bernanke will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. Although the public airing of the chairman’s assessment of monetary policy are routine and required under the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, the hearings next week may prove to be unusual. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate may decide to probe the Fed chief on a number of hot issues. For instance, the Fed’s rules on fair lending practices under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act are expected to come out Monday. Also, Bernanke may be quizzed further on comments made this week before Congress that the Fed should be given stronger supervisory authority over investment banks to help protect the broader economy from problems like ones that caused an emergency rescue of investment bank Bear Stearns.


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