White House Refuses To Issue Economic Projections This Summer, Official Says (#GotBitcoin?)
Projections wouldn’t provide a ‘meaningful snapshot’ of economy because of uncertainty caused by Trumponomics White House Refuses To Issue Economic Projections This Summer, Official Says (#GotBitcoin?)
The White House won’t issue updated economic projections this summer because of uncertainty, according to a senior administration official.
The official said the coronavirus has resulted in “fluctuating” economic data, and that White House projections wouldn’t provide a “meaningful snapshot” of the economy. The Washington Post first reported the decision.
For decades, U.S. administrations have issued updated forecasts for data including growth, employment and inflation in the summer after issuing their budget proposals, usually in February. The official said the Trump administration didn’t issue such projections in 2017 because that year’s budget request wasn’t released until May, after Mr. Trump took office.
President Trump and other administration officials have predicted that the severe slump caused by lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the virus would be followed quickly by a strong rebound as businesses reopen.
By the fall, “all the signs of economic recovery are going to be raging everywhere,” White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. The White House hasn’t released detailed economic analysis to support its predictions.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects gross domestic product to shrink 5.6% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the same period last year. By the end of 2021, the economy will still be smaller than it was at the end of 2019, and the jobless rate—which stood at 14.7% last month—will remain above 8%, the CBO projects.
Most economists surveyed this month said the economy will likely bottom out in May or June and that growth will remain below pre-pandemic levels for years.
“It’s going to take a while for us to get back,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a May 17 interview on CBS News’s “60 Minutes.” The Fed plans to release updated economic projections following its June 9-10 policy meeting, Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said this week.
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FDIC Considers Scrapping Quarterly Bank Reports
Agency to kick off competition to develop new reporting prototype that provides timely data on bank risks.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is moving to boost the way it monitors for risks at thousands of U.S. banks, potentially scrapping quarterly reports that have been a fixture of oversight for more than 150 years yet often contain stale data.
The FDIC on Monday is expected to kick off a competition among 20 data and technology firms to develop a new reporting prototype that could provide the agency with more timely and targeted data about banks’ credit exposures and deposit information.
The move is focused primarily around modernizing the data the FDIC collects from more than 3,200 community banks the agency oversees. Eventually, the new system might displace the voluminous “call” reports the firms are required to file 30 days after each quarter, which run 60 pages and contain more than 2,200 data fields.
“What we would like to do is frankly make the call reports obsolete, and not because we wouldn’t have the data but because we would have better data and we would have more timely data,” FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said in an interview.
The competition is part of a broader push to modernize the way government watchdogs surveil risks in the market. Proponents say it could also boost consumer protection, help combat financial crime and ensure the banking system serves an inclusive set of customers.
“These kinds of efforts are going to transform financial regulation,” said Jo Ann Barefoot, a former banking regulator who now heads the Alliance for Innovative Regulation. “They can’t see most of what’s going on in the financial system in real time, because they don’t have good enough data.”
The effort to modernize the FDIC’s systems predates the coronavirus pandemic, yet the outbreak has demonstrated bank reporting can be out of date. For instance, the agency wasn’t able to brief the public on the first-quarter health of the industry until earlier this month. And that briefing didn’t include data past March, relatively early in the pandemic-triggered downturn.
Though the agency collects some daily data from the largest U.S. banks, officials say keeping tabs on smaller institutions is especially cumbersome and outmoded, comparing the quarterly call reports to seeing a doctor but having to wait four months for lab work.
The FDIC’s goal is to develop a system that would allow the agency to see targeted sets of data on, say, commercial-real-estate loans, on a more continuous basis. The agency declined to identify the firms that have been approached to develop the new tool.
Officials hope to complete a prototype system in about six months. Lenders would be incentivized to use the new reporting system, but the agency isn’t expected to mandate its use.
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