The Economy

Former FDIC Chair Speaks, Lamborghini Electrifies, and a Big Week for Banks: Trial Balance

After recent bank collapses, will the Fed halt interest rate hikes on Wednesday?
Former FDIC Chair Speaks, Lamborghini Electrifies, and a Big Week for Banks: Trial Balance
Photo: Getty Images

Want to see sparks fly? Score a ticket to the American Bankers Association Washington summit this week, where former FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams is on a Monday morning panel. Virtual registration is still available.

The big scheduled event this week is the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s interest-rate decision on Wednesday, followed by Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference.

By the way, it’s National Introverts Week, we hope you’re celebrating. But first, could you kindly leave us alone for a little while? 

(The Trial Balance is CFO’s weekly preview of stories, stats, and events to help you prepare.)

Part 1: Q&A With Lamborghini CFO Paolo Poma

The CFO of luxury sportscar maker Lamborghini spoke to reporter Adam Zaki last week during the finance leader’s pitstop in New York about the company’s investment into electric vehicles, growth strategies, projections for the future, and his drive to never stop learning. Poma, a former engineer turned finance leader, left New York after one day, bound for a learning opportunity at Harvard University because, according to Poma, “you never stop learning.” (March 23)

Part 2: Economic Calendar

Monday — Astronomical spring begins on March 20. The vernal equinox, when the Sun is exactly above the Equator, occurs at 5:24 p.m.

Tuesday — Existing home sales fell for the 12th straight month in January, but the National Association of Realtors believes the market is bottoming out. Analysts are predicting a 4% monthly increase for February.

Wednesday — The Federal Open Market Committee releases its interest-rate decision. Will the Fed continue tightening, or will banking turmoil cause the FOMC to keep the Fed funds rate at 4.5%-4.75%? Fed officials also update their “dot-plot” projections, including expectations for unemployment and inflation.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board holds a meeting at 9 a.m. FASB will be discussing the standards for Credit Losses — Acquired Financial Assets.

The SEC holds an open meeting at 10 a.m. to discuss rules for private investment funds.

Thursday — Weekly jobless claims numbers are due out. Economists project a slight rise to 200,000. The U.S. current-account deficit is projected to fall slightly to $214 billion. The current account reflects the combined balances on trade in goods and services and income flows between U.S. residents and residents of other countries.

Friday — Durable goods orders slipped 4.5% in January, driven by transportation equipment. Economists expect a 1% increase in February.

Earnings releases this week scheduled this week for Foot Locker, General Mills, Darden Restaurants, Movado Group, Nike, GameStop, and Chewy

Investor days are held by Hershey Co., Bombardier, Autodesk, and Altria Group.

Looking Ahead — The House Financial Services Committee, led by Patrick McHenry from North Carolina, announced a hearing to be held on March 29 to examine federal regulators’ responses to the SVB and Signature Bank failures. 

Part 3: The CFO’s Decision-Making Journey

From CF-GO to CF-NO

This week Michael Bayer, finance chief of cloud storage provider Wasabi Technologies, discusses the changing landscape CFOs must constantly anticipate and steer their companies through. He explains how the balanced and forward-looking CFO regularly maps out their company’s future and assesses when to slow or accelerate growth. (March 24)

Quote of the week

“My greatest contribution [to my company] is understanding the demands and expectations of finance leaders.” – Greg Kautz, Black Owl Systems