Michael Townsend

Michael Townsend

Managing Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Michael is Schwab's Washington-based political analyst. With more than 30 years of Washington experience, he analyzes legislative, regulatory, and political developments to determine how they would affect individual investors, retirement plan participants, and investment advisers.

Michael is the host of Schwab's WashingtonWise podcast, which explores the intersection between policy, politics, the markets, and the economy. He is a featured speaker at dozens of employee, client, adviser, and industry events each year, where he discusses the impact of the political and policy environment in Washington on investors and the capital markets.

Prior to joining Schwab in 2000, Michael worked at Powell Tate, Inc., a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm, and previously worked for two U.S. senators from Maine. He holds an M.A. in English from George Mason University and a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College.

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Take a look at what Michael has written or been featured in.

Washington Watch

This report is current as of August 9, 2023

Congress is on its annual August recess, but a major confrontation between the two parties is looming—and it could lead to a disruptive government shutdown this fall. Meanwhile, the SEC has begun finalizing a series of high-profile rule proposals that could have an enormous impact on investors and advisors alike. Let's take a look at what RIAs should be watching closely as we head into the fall season.

Washington Watch

This report is current as of May 16, 2023

As spring bloomed in Washington, Congress began one of its busiest stretches of the year. Between the Easter recess and the break in early July, the Senate will be in session 9 of 10 weeks and the House, 8 of 10. This period will be dominated by jockeying over the debt ceiling, the Washington issue that will have the most direct impact on the markets and investors.

Washington Watch

This report is current as of March 17, 2023

The 118th Congress convened in January with razor-thin majorities in both houses. Democrats hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, while Republicans have a 222-213 advantage in the House of Representatives. The sharp divide between the two chambers means few major legislative accomplishments are expected in the current biennium.