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Busy week for Congress weighing financial reform

Senate hearing to examine how best to monitor systemic risk

Fed chief Ben Bernanke and other top U.S. financial regulators may reveal more details Thursday about how they plan to monitor systemic risk when they testify at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

House Republicans have complained that regulators have yet to spell out how they will define which non-banks are "systemically important" and whether that designation will include big hedge funds or investment funds.

Major banks with at least $50 billion in assets and any other companies that are designated as systemically important will be subject to stricter regulation to protect the U.S. financial system from another meltdown. Texas Republican Randy Neugebauer, chairman of a House Financial Services subcommittee, last week urged regulators to delay their final rule "in the interest of transparency and fairness."

The Democrat-led committee hearing is likely to give a friendlier reception hearing to the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Office of Comptroller of the Currency.

Other hearings, deadlines and events related to financial reform

Wednesday

Bank of America — Bank of America management  holds annual shareholders meeting.

Risk retention — House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee holds hearing on transparency as an alternative to the federal government's regulation of risk retention in risky financial products. Begins 2 p.m, ET, and will be webcast.

SEC whistleblowers — House Financial Services subcommittee holds hearing on Republican proposals to "address the negative consequences" of the beefed-up whistleblower protections and payment required by the Dodd-Frank law. Begins 2 p.m., ET, and will be webcast.

Small banks — The small bank advisory committee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. meets to discuss policy issues. Begins 8:30 a.m., ET, and will be webcast.

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Thursday

Systemic risk — The heads of the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Commodity Futures Trading Commission,and the deputy secretary of the Treasury Department testify at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on their efforts to monitor systemic risk. Hearing begins 10 a.m., ET, and will be webcast.

Mortgage servicing — Senate Banking Committee holds hearing on the need for national mortgage servicing standards. Testifying are officials from the Government Accountability Office, National Consumer Law Center, Mortgage Bankers Association, and Amherst Securities. Begins at 2 p.m., ET, and will be webcast.

Friday

Investor protection — House Financial Services subcommittee holds hearing on the Stanford Financial Ponzi scheme and its lessons for investor protection. Begins 10 a.m., ET, and will be webcast.

Reprinted by permission of The Center for Public Integrity.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

Who are lobbyists meeting?

The sweeping Dodd-Frank financial reform law was enacted by Congress last summer after the U.S. banking crisis and housing collapse of 2007-08. But it left the details to more than a half-dozen agencies which are now drafting rules to regulate the multi-trillion-dollar derivatives market, set bank capital standards, designate systemically-important financial institutions, encourage whistleblowers, track credit rating agencies’ accuracy, and launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

These agencies post short summaries of their contacts with lobbyists

Regulatory timelines, summaries for Dodd-Frank reform-watchers

Sites that help consumers watch the evolving Dodd-Frank regulations or provide other useful information