Washington Daybook: Stressed Out

Even with Congress out, Washington can be a stressful place. Regulators are hoping they can figure out just how much stress banks can take before they break.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s board votes today on final Dodd-Frank rules governing annual internal “stress tests” for 26 firms under its jurisdiction that have at least $10 billion in assets. These include Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T Corp. and New York-based American Express Co.’s Centurion Bank. The agency will also vote on finalizing a rule it proposed in March to change how banks evaluate assets to determine their payments to the deposit insurance fund.

Steve Rattner, who oversaw the Obama administration’s auto industry bailout, speaks about the legacy of the program and the stresses that remain on the industry in a speech to the Center for American Progress.

And stresses on the business environment will be the main topic of discussion at the Newseum today as John Engler, president of Business Roundtable; Jay Timmons, president of National Association of Manufacturers; and Matt Shay, president of National Retail Federation speak at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce discussion on the economy and government policies that affect growth rates and taxes.

On the energy front, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar makes an announcement regarding renewable energy on public land. Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s head of policy analysis Ethan Zindler; Calpine Corp. director of governmental relations Yvonne McIntyre; and Enel Green Power’s associate of regulatory affairs Jack Thirolf participate in a discussion on “Renewable Energy Markets: Investment & Policy Trends” at 2168 Rayburn.

Also today, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York speaks at the National Press Club on how the presidential election should influence Democrats’ approach to tax overhaul. The IRS holds hearing on proposed regulations relating to basis of indebtedness of corporations to their shareholders. And speaking of stress, Banco Santander Vice Chairman Matias Rodriguez Inciarte speaks on restructuring Europe’s stressed financial system at the Peterson Institute.

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