Thursday, May 13, 2010

News Headlines in Play from Washington DC

· “Volcker Rules” – debate to commence in Congress to attach tougher “Volcker Rules” to the Dodd bill; Senators Merkley and Levin are pushing legislation that would ban outright all proprietary trading.
· Swaps vote – the Lincoln provision that would force banks to spin off their swaps desks hasn’t been introduced as an amendment to the Dodd bill yet and it probably won’t until after Sen Lincoln’s primary on May 18.  “Senator Lincoln’s got a primary next Tuesday, and so I think some of these things will have to wait until after that’s resolved,”   Bloomberg 
· Swaps – a GOP-led amendment that would have weakened the Lincoln plan was defeated Wed night; Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the bill is "getting worse and worse every day,"   Poliltico.
· Money manager tax - White House budget director Peter Orszag thinks Congress will approve a higher tax on money managers in coming weeks – Bloomberg 
· Institutional managers – George Canellos, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Manhattan office, said he is going to focus on products sold to institutional investors, in addition to individuals – Bloomberg

· Fed update – economists think the Fed will stay lower for longer as a result of the recent turmoil in Europe.  A new WSJ says 42% of economists think Fed will hold off on tightening until ’11 or beyond; last month, only 28% thought this.  WSJ
· Republicans make gains in recent poll – the GOP alliance appears to be “firmer and more substantial” than earlier in the year; could help the party into the Nov elections; independents shifting to the GOP by 38% to 30% margin (vs. in ’06 they were in favor of Dems 40% to 24%) (WSJ)
· AMED, LHCG, GTIV – the Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether AMED and other in-home caregiver companies deliberately boosted the number of home visits to trigger higher Medicare reimbursements (WSJ)  

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