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Inside Washington (01/21/2009)
* WASHINGTON (1/22/09)—At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination for the position of Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, Timothy Geitner was grilled by senators of both parties. He was questioned closely about his views of the country’s current financial crisis, as well as about his reported errors in his personal income tax filings ( Jan. 21). Geitner, who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told the committee that the Obama administration soon would propose an overhaul of the nation’s financial institutions regulatory system. He said he also to expect plans to change the Treasury’s use of the $700 billion financial bailout program. Geitner also apologized to the panel for his late payment of more than $34,000 in income taxes, something he called “careless” and “avoidable” mistakes, but also “unintentional.” Geitner is expected to be confirmed by the Senate by next week ... * WASHINGTON (1/22/09)--President Barack Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, called for reform of the government’s $700 billion rescue plan on Wednesday during his confirmation hearing. Geithner said changes to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) are needed immediately (The New York Times Jan. 21). The program has given financial institutions “too much upside” and has done little for families and small business owners, he said. The program needs to be restructured so that there is enough credit to help the economy recover, he added. Congress has approved the second half of the TARP program, but the funds have not been deployed ... * WASHINGTON (1/22/09)--Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced intentions to introduce legislation Thursday that would enable federal law enforcement to better police and prosecute investor fraud scams on Wall Street. The senators said they would unveil their bill today at a press conference, and predicted that the country’s ongoing financial crisis likely will expose more “bad actors” in the financial services industry. They will discuss the need for stepped-up efforts to bring these white-collar wrongdoers to justice ... * WASHINGTON (1/22/09)--The Treasury Department is asking recipients of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) fund to provide monthly reports on purchases of asset- and mortgage-backed securities (American Banker Jan. 21). Companies that received the Treasury’s request include: Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, U.S. Bancorp, SunTrust Banks Inc., Regions Financial Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., Fifth Third Bancorp., BB&T Corp., KeyCorp, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Comerica Inc., CIT Group Inc., Northern Trust Corp., State Street Corp., and Marshall and Ilsley Corp. The Treasury had been criticized for not requiring institutions to provide information about how they used the TARP funds ...


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