Banks eye changes to CEO gatherings

BANKS EYE CHANGES TO CEO GATHERINGS — When the Financial Services Forum holds its next meeting, a key item on the agenda may well be the fate of the organization representing CEOs of the nation’s largest banks, insurers and asset managers.

Sources familiar with the matter told M.M. that some banks are ready to hash out whether it makes sense to keep investing in the group, wind it down or consider other options, including merging its functions with those of another trade organization. The CEOs are scheduled to meet next in October. Its members include the heads of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

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Washington’s banking industry insiders have been chattering about the direction of the group since longtime president and chief executive Rob Nichols was named last year as head of the larger American Bankers Association. The ABA represents a broad range of small, regional and large banks.

“There’s an ongoing debate among all the banks whether it’s worth having all these different trade associations,” one source familiar with discussions said.

Forum spokeswoman Laena Fallon did not comment on any CEO discussions about overhauling the organization.

“The Forum CEOs are looking forward to their annual fall meeting and are working together on a number of shared industry priorities including cybersecurity, strengthening the financial system, and helping provide credit to drive the economy forward,” Fallon said.

JACKSON HOLE KICKOFF — The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual economic symposium starts today in Jackson Hole. The main event for the markets will be tomorrow morning’s speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the Fed’s “monetary policy toolkit.” Bloomberg’s Steve Matthews and Jeff Black expect that “any description she offers of the U.S. economy will probably be crafted to keep an interest-rate rise on the table for the central bank’s policy meeting next month — without committing it to act.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip argues that central bankers are facing big questions about their relevance, because of the persistence of slow economic growth since the 2008 crisis and therefore low interest rates. He lays out what they may do next:

‘FED UP’ MEETING AHEAD OF THE FESTIVITIES — In a sign of the movement’s growing clout, a coalition of labor and community groups banding together as “Fed Up” expect at least seven Fed presidents and one Fed governor to show up at a public meeting in Jackson Hole this afternoon. Among other things, they will talk about reforming the Fed’s structure and how monetary policy affects working-class communities. Fed Up expects the attendee list to include Fed Governor (and potential Clinton Treasury Secretary) Lael Brainard, New York Fed President William Dudley, Kansas City Fed President Esther George and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

The meeting will be livestreamed here at 6:30 p.m. ET:

Fed Up director Ady Barkan told M.M. that a major topic of discussion will be a proposal to overhaul the structure of the Fed to minimize the influence of commercial banks. “We’re going to be asking them whether they support that, and why not if they don’t,” Barkan said.

HAPPY THURSDAY — It’s been a pleasure serving as your guest host the last couple of weeks. I’m handing it over to my colleagues tomorrow, so please keep sending tips to Pro Financial Services editor Mark McQuillan: Happy to keep in touch on Twitter @zachary.

THIS MORNING ON POLITICO PRO FINANCIAL SERVICES – VIctoria Guida on the GAO’s opinion on community-based flood insurance — and to get Morning Money every day before 6 a.m. — please contact Pro Services at (703) 341-4600 or

DRIVING THE DAY — Hillary Clinton will give a speech on the “disturbing ‘alt-right’ philosophy” of Donald Trump’s campaign; 3 p.m. ET in Reno, Nev. … Fed Up meets with Federal Reserve officials at 6:30 p.m. as the economic symposium begins in Jackson Hole. …

FOR YOUR FALL CALENDAR — A federal appeals court has scheduled Oct. 24 oral arguments in the government’s fight to keep MetLife under scrutiny of the Federal Reserve because of its potential systemic risks.

TIME TO MEASURE THE DRAPES, MAJORITY LEADER SCHUMER? — The New York Times gives Democrats a 60 percent chance of retaking the Senate.

HOW DELAWARE DEFEATED CORPORATE SUNSHINE — A 3,000-word Reuters investigation on the state’s fight against proposals that would reveal the owners of corporate shell companies: “[T]he proposed law continues to languish, thanks in part to [Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey] Bullock. He was neither the first nor the only official to take up the fight, but became a leader in defending the status quo as worldwide support for change gained traction.”

GOVERNMENT AT ODDS WITH ITSELF ON STUDENT LOANS — Bloomberg’s Shahien Nasiripour on how the CFPB has become student loan borrowers’ advocate against the Education Department: “Both the [CFPB] and the Obama administration share the same goal: improved customer service and fewer loan delinquencies. But industry observers see the administration as more accommodating to the industry’s needs, while the consumer bureau has made clear that it’s ready to sue. It’s as if the Obama administration is using a carrot while the consumer bureau is brandishing a stick.”

EX-FED OFFICIAL WARNS AGAINST GOING EASY ON INFLATION — Former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh argues in a WSJ opinion piece that central bankers should resist calls to accommodate higher inflation, which has yet to rear its head, despite low interest rates: “A new inflation target would undermine the Fed’s commitment to any policy framework. It would please the denizens of Wall Street who pine for still-looser Fed policy. And households would be understandably miffed to receive a new lecture on unconventional monetary policy — this one on the benefits of higher prices.”

U.S., EU DUKE IT OUT OVER APPLE, TAXES — The FT’s Barney Jopson and Arthur Beesley on the intensifying feud: “The U.S. has launched a stinging attack on the European Commission in a last-ditch bid to dissuade Brussels from hitting Apple with a demand for billions of euros in underpaid taxes. In a sharp escalation of the transatlantic feud, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a rare warning on Wednesday that Brussels was becoming a ‘supernational tax authority’ that threatened international agreements on tax reform. The criticism comes as the European Commission is finalizing a probe into an alleged sweetheart tax deal that Ireland granted to Apple, the biggest single case in a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance across the EU. After prolonged delays, a definitive ruling is expected next month.”

FLOOD INSURANCE POLITICS IN LOUISIANA SENATE RACE — Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon endorsed Republican Rep. Charles Boustany in the race for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, arguing that he is “the only candidate I trust to fight for affordable flood insurance.” Congress faces a September 2017 deadline to reauthorize the government-run National Flood Insurance Program. “I look forward to working with Commissioner Donelon to write common-sense flood insurance policy as Louisiana’s next United States Senator when Congress begins work on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program in 2017,” Boustany said in a statement.

NYT’S TAKE ON GOLDMAN CATERING TO THE ‘COMMON MAN’ — From William Cohan in DealBook: “As it has done many times in its past to survive and to thrive, Goldman is in the process of reinvention. This explains Marcus, its new online lending business named after the company’s founder, Marcus Goldman, along with GS Bank, its online savings account business with no minimum balance requirements. After all these years, Goldman Sachs has suddenly discovered retail banking. But it is not out of altruism or charity, nor is it nefarious. It is all about making money from money, which has always been Goldman’s specialty.”

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