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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan will likely face a grilling today when he testifies before the House Financial Services Committee, led by Rep. Maxine Waters, but if history is any guide the hearing will make little difference to Wall Street.
What it means: It's the company's fourth appearance on the Hill since the bank's cross-selling scandal came to light in 2016. Previous hearings haven’t moved its share price to the downside, Axios' Courtenay Brown writes.
Wells Fargo has missed out on the broader bank industry's stock rally, thanks to a snowball of bad news and lost confidence in the company over the past few years, though Wells has outlined plans to clean up its act and improve company culture.
The big picture: But Wells' biggest obstacle has been the revelation in January that it will have to operate under the Fed's mandated asset growth cap for the rest of this year, longer than initially estimated.
Of note: Almost all of Wells Fargo's businesses are under investigation by a government agency, as the Wall Street Journal points out.
The bottom line: The appearance before Congress will likely be contentious, and that will probably be the case when Sloan testifies again next month alongside the other big bank CEOs.
Sloan released a statement ahead of his Tuesday congressional testimony, detailing significant progress in Wells Fargo's "transformation." In the statement, he says that above all the bank "is committed to making things right for our customers and earning back the public’s trust."
The crashes of 2 brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft during the past 6 months, including the latest on Sunday outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that killed all 157 aboard, present a major challenge for Boeing, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.
Why it matters: The Chicago-based company has bet much of its future on the success of the Boeing 737 MAX series, which are the newest versions of the best-selling jet of all time. However, the stakes for Boeing couldn't be higher, as the loss of 2 brand new aircraft in 6 months has no precedent in modern aviation history.
The big picture: The aircraft is aimed at countering competition from Airbus for the lucrative single-aisle jet market. According to Boeing, the company has already notched more than 4,700 orders.
Context: The investigation into the Lion Air crash near Jakarta, Indonesia, on Oct. 29 has centered on an angle-of-attack sensor that juts out from the plane's fuselage near the nose.
A final cause of the crash has not yet been determined. However, in the wake of the crash, Boeing issued guidance to airlines about how to disable the MCAS system.
Backstory: In developing the 737 MAX 8, Boeing worked to minimize training costs for airlines. Pilots did not receive special training on the MCAS in particular.
The big picture: Boeing is the most influential stock in the oft-cited Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gives the heaviest weighting to the company with the highest share price, Courtenay points out.
The bottom line: Right now, 3 U.S. airlines operate a 737 MAX: American, Southwest and United. Some international airlines, such as Norwegian Air and Icelandair, also are flying long-range routes across the Atlantic.
Americans are getting thriftier with their tax refunds.
The National Retail Federation says the percentage of Americans planning to put their tax refund toward savings is the highest in the 12-year history of the survey.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Monday doubled down on his comments from Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes," lamenting the unequal nature of the economic recovery the U.S. has enjoyed since 2009 in a speech to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
What it means: While Powell's appearance on the news magazine didn't break any new ground, his focus on matters beyond monetary policy and his efforts to communicate to people who don't closely watch financial markets is more akin to a politician than a Fed chair.
The big picture: It follows an interesting string of behavior from the chair who has put much more emphasis than any of his predecessors on boosting the Fed's reach and appeal.
With 17 days until the U.K. is slated to trigger Article 50 and leave the EU, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told a group of international bankers to brace for price volatility.
In the event of a hard Brexit, "there will be friction, there will be price volatility, there will be problems," Clayton said.
"Volatility is a part of market functioning. We don't intervene in the markets. Is the ECB preparing? Is the Bank of England preparing? Yes. They do engage in market intervention. The SEC's mandate is to make sure price discovery is fair. We're going to have volatile price discovery if we have a hard Brexit."— SEC Chair Jay Clayton, as reported by MarketWatch
What to watch: U.K. Prime Minister May will put the new deal she negotiated with the EU up for a vote today.