POLITICS: PennAve

The week ahead in economics: finance, regulation and hiring

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Congress,Jobs,Labor,Finance and Banking,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,CFPB

Finance and financial regulation will be main features this week in Washington.

On Tuesday, officials at some of the biggest regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will testify before the House Financial Services Committee. The hearing, called by the Republican majority, will focus on the “red tape” costs that regulations place on business and consumers.

The same committee is scheduled to hold a first hearing on a set of bills referred to, collectively, as the JOBS Act 2.0, on Wednesday. The original JOBS Act -- the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act -- was a measure intended to ease certain kinds of regulations to promote funding of startups. One major provision of the bill was to boost crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter, for different kinds of businesses.

Signed into law by President Obama in 2012, the JOBS Act is one of the few bipartisan bills to clear Congress since Republicans took over the House in 2010. The new set of seven bills seeks to follow that precedent by loosening several regulations relating to small business finance.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College will host a conference in Washington on stabilizing the financial system. The event will feature, among other luminaries, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo on Wednesday night. Tarullo is considered the de facto head of financial regulation for the central bank, as the post of vice chairman for financial supervision required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law remains unfilled.

This week will also include a major datapoint on the health of the U.S. labor market to supplement Friday's jobs report, which showed U.S. business and governments adding 192,000 jobs in March and setting a record high for private-sector employment, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for February.

The JOLTS report, as its known, shows the pace of labor market churn, which remains depressed more than five years after the financial crisis. It’s expected that the report will show that the total number of job openings rose above four million on the last day of February. A positive report also would show hiring and the number of voluntary quits continuing to grow.

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