The Week Ahead: May 21-27, 2012

May 21, 2012 12:25 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

House out, Senate in | CBO farm bill estimates

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

The Senate is the only chamber in town this week as House lawmakers spend time working back in their districts, but will holding pro forma sessions on May 22, 25, and 29. At the end of the week the Senate will break for a Memorial Day recess, with the House and Senate both returning on June 4.

A key event this week is a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday with financial regulators. Mary Schapiro, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), will testify following the multibillion dollar loss suffered by JPMorganChase. The hearing marks the first of two on the matter where lawmakers will probe regulators. At a third hearing not yet scheduled, the bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, will testify on the losses.


An announcement could come soon regarding Senate floor debate for the farm bill. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week is expected to release budget estimates of the bill that passed the Senate Agriculture Committee. Senate floor debate is conjectured to take place the week of June 4 or the week of June 11.


Up for a procedural vote in the Senate today is a bill (S 3187) that would reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration's user fee programs. The Senate measure is similar to a bill (HR 5651) reported out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on May 10. Both measures contain policy changes that would address drug shortages as well as medical device and drug approvals. Senate Democrats wan to pass the FDA measure by Thursday, but slowing action could be a possible disagreement over the number and scope of amendments.


An Iran sanctions bill (HR 1905) is among other legislation that could be considered on the Senate floor during the week. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attempt to bring the Iran bill to the floor May 17, but Republican objections prevented that from happening because the wanted more time to review the bill.


Another legislative matter that could come up is a measure to provide tax breaks to small businesses that hire employees or increase salaries.

Calendar of events and reports on tap this week include:


Monday, May 21
Markets closed in Canada.
Spain: Bankia , the embattled Spanish bank, is expected to detail its restructuring plans this week.
Global economic outlook: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) web event.
US small business summit: America’s Small Business Summit, by the US Chamber of Commerce, opens in Washington (until May 23).
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve).
USDA reports:
Export inspections (AMS) | Catfish Processing (NASS) | Catfish Feed Deliveries (NASS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Wheat Data (ERS) | Crop Progress (NASS).

Tuesday, May 22
The group publishes its latest economic outlook.
auctions bonds.
Role of government in energy innovation:
Committee hearing. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
JPMorganChase loss and financial regulation oversight:
Committee oversight hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky.
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | Existing Home Sales.
USDA reports:
Cold Storage (NASS) | Chicken and Eggs (NASS).

Wednesday, May 23
Germany's launch of five billion euros of two-year Treasury notes. Of note will be whether it issues a coupon of zero.
An informal summit of European heads of state occurs in Brussels. A possible relaxation of deficit targets and how to recapitalize the European banking system will be high on the agenda.
Presidential elections begin in Egypt.
holds talks with six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program (until May 24).
Bank of Japan
is expected to hold off on any additional asset purchases to lower rates at its policy meeting.
US-China strategic and economic dialogue:
Subcommittee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs - Subcommittee on Security and International Trade and Finance.
Economic reports:
MBA Purchase Applications | New Home Sales | FHFA Home Price Index.
Energy reports:
EIA Petroleum Status Report | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Grain Transportation Report (AMS) | Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. of American Railroads).
USDA reports:
Broiler Hatchery (NASS).

Thursday, May 24

Economic reports: Jobless Claims | Durable Goods Orders.
Energy reports:
EIA Natural Gas Report |
USDA reports:
Sugar: World Markets (FAS) | Floriculture Crops (NASS) | US Export Sales (FAS).

Friday, May 25
The US bond market closes at 2 p.m. ET ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. Markets are closed in Argentina.
Economic reports:
Consumer Sentiment.
USDA reports:
Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Poultry Slaughter (NASS) | Food Price Outlook (ERS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Monthly Milk Cost of Production (ERS).


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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