EX-IM BANK FATE: Congress this week begins a three-week sprint to summer recess that will feature a number of contentious issues including replenishing the soon-to-be-depleted Highway Trust Fund and passing a terrorism reinsurance bill. Both of those things are likely to get done, though the highway fund will likely get its money from “pension smoothing,” an accounting trick that allows corporations to underfund their retirement plans.
That’s the only way House Republicans will accept funding the bill because anything else, including hiking the gas tax, the traditional method, is now viewed as politically impossible. Still, no member of Congress wants to go home saddled with responsibility for halting highway and bridge projects that help Americans get to their beloved summer destinations. Read more
WHEN UTILITIES WILL BE ABLE TO PREDICT THE WEATHER: Utilities have doubted the role big data can play in managing the grid, but it may save them and the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars in the future. Ultimately, it may even allow them to predict the weather instead of being caught with their turbines and transformers down during extreme weather. All of it has implications for the returns utilities deliver to their stock shareholders. Read more
YELLEN’S PR PUSH: Janet Yellen is coming out from behind the curtain to do media interviews after just a few months in her new position. Read more
STOCKS END HIGHER ON M&A; DOW SETS INTRADAY RECORD: Read more