Oral arguments for an appeals case that could determine the framework and fate of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are scheduled for May 24. A ruling upholding a previous court's finding that the agency's single directorship is unconstitutional could remove the CFPB's authority to issue rulings, but the court could also decide the case on the real estate charges against mortgage lender PHH alone, invoking the doctrine of constitutional avoidance.
Easing the stringent mortgage underwriting standards by lowering down payments to 10% from 20% would allow banks to lend money to more prospective homebuyers, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC. "It wouldn't introduce that much risk but would actually help a lot of mortgages get done," he said.
Critics and supporters of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule stood by their opposing views on the measure during a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee. Bradford Campbell, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, said an Investment Company Institute survey provided evidence of the harm the rule will cause, while Micah Hauptman, financial-services counsel at the Consumer Federation of America, said the institute didn't provide any facts to support its claims.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue making dividend payments to the Treasury Department despite comments from Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt that he may suspend them to allow the housing giants to retain enough capital to operate safely. The firm's zero-capital targets were intended to force Congress to take action on housing reform.
President Donald Trump's plan to balance the federal budget within a decade includes making cuts to Medicaid, the State Department and foreign aid, while stimulating economic growth through tax and regulatory reform, an official said. The plan, which is to be released Tuesday, is expected to be challenged by both Republicans and Democrats, who have their own agenda for tax reform.
Republican efforts at tax reform could be hindered by the inability to agree on budget resolutions. Both the House and Senate are at odds over military spending increases, entitlement cost restraints and tax cuts, among other things.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones discusses why he speaks out about race and other issues, how he deals with racial slurs from fans, and the people in baseball who have supported him and other players. "As athletes, we do have to be censored in a certain way, but at the same time, if there's a big issue, and it's something you stand for, you've got to speak out," he says.