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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.

For example, when now-ousted CEO John Stumpf testified before the Senate Banking Committee in 2016, shares finished the day higher by 1.2%. When Sloan faced the same group of lawmakers a year later, shares closed up then too.

  • "The only thing [Wall street] wants to hear is silence. What they want to see is Wells Fargo going back to delivering the goods and no more headlines," Christopher Whalen, veteran banking analyst and founder of the Institutional Risk Analyst, tells Axios.

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.

  • That's a key issue Wall Street is watching and it's sure to come up in the hearing, but no new news is expected on that front.

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.

  • Bonus: Wells Fargo isn't apologizing this time in its opening statement. Unlike in previous testimonies by Sloan and his predecessor, the words "sorry," "apologize" and "regret" are notably missing from today's planned remarks to Congress.

Go deeper: Maxine Waters targets global banks with Financial Services shakeup

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
14 mins ago - Energy & Environment

White House moves against "super-pollutant" in climate fight

Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

The EPA is finalizing rules today that cut powerful greenhouse gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration, part of a wider new White House strategy to deter these "super-pollutants" and boost manufacturing of substitutes.

Why it matters: The EPA regulation is the U.S. part of a planned global phase-down of chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons. The global phaseout can prevent up 0.5 °C of global warming by 2100, the White House said.

FBI report likely to show record increase in murders in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the FBI data released next week shows what's expected — that 2020 saw the highest single-year spike in U.S. murders in at least six decades — experts say the sudden job losses, fears and other jolts to society at the start of COVID-19 will likely have been the overwhelming drivers.

Why it matters: Many Democrats already feared that rising crime could hurt their party in the 2022 midterms.

46 mins ago - Health

Some experts see signs of hope as COVID cases fall

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New coronavirus cases are continuing to decline, and some experts are cautiously optimistic that the virus will continue to wane even into the fall and winter.

The big picture: The next few months are highly uncertain, and some localized outbreaks are all but guaranteed. But the U.S. is at least moving in the right direction again.