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News Now

Inside Washington (01/27/2009)
* WASHINGTON (1/28/09)—The Federal Reserve Board yesterday announced the appointment of the chairs and deputy chairs of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks for 2009. Each Reserve Bank has a nine-member board of directors. The Fed announcement noted that the Board of Governors in Washington appoints three of these directors and each year designates one of its appointees as chair and a second as deputy chair… * WASHINGTON (1/28/09)--On his first day as U.S. Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner proposed reforms to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA), which was enacted last year to bolster a flagging economy. He outlined new rules designed to limit the influence of lobbyists and special interests in the EESA process. The idea, he said, is to ensure that investment decisions are guided by objective assessments in the best interest of the health and stability of the financial system. An agency release said Tuesday’s announcement builds on EESA reforms already outlined by President Barack Obama, including monitoring and tracking lending patterns by financial institutions, limiting executive compensation, and preventing shareholders from being unduly rewarded at taxpayer expense. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica, in a recent column in The Hill, backed Obama’s move toward transparency in lobbying efforts calling the change “welcome and overdue.” He said the organizations that face a difficult future are those claiming falsely to represent wide interests, while really representing a narrow few … * WASHINGTON (1/28/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) issued a final rule Tuesday requiring insured depository institutions to inform their sweep account customers of the nature of their swept funds and how those funds would be treated if the institution fails. The rule largely codifies the agency’s long-standing policies on bank closings, the FDIC said. The rule is a follow-up to a July 2008 interim rule, which establishes the FDIC’s practices for determining deposit and other account balances at failed banks ... * WASHINGTON (1/28/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) plans to tighten and clarify interest-rate restrictions on banks that are less than well-capitalized. The agency is seeking comments on a proposal that would define nationally prevailing deposit rates as a direct calculation of the national averages computed by the FDIC. Reliance on Treasury yields would be discontinued. The regulation also would establish a presumption that locally prevailing deposit rates equal the national rates published by the FDIC and “bring much needed concreteness to the administration of these statutory interest rate restrictions,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair. As of third quarter 2008, about 154 banks reported being less than well-capitalized out of 8,300 banks nationwide ... * WASHINGTON (1/28/09)--The Federal Reserve Bank of New York named William Dudley as president/CEO to succeed Timothy Geithner, who was sworn in as Treasury Secretary Monday. Dudley was executive vice president of the Markets Group at the New York bank and was manager of the System Open Market Account for the Federal Open Market Committee. Prior to joining the bank in January 2007, Dudley was a partner and managing director at Goldman, Sachs and Co. ... * WASHINGTON (1/28/09)--Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, asked regulators to report on their fraud detection improvement efforts every three months (The New York Times Jan. 27). At a hearing Tuesday, Dodd questioned the Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement director and the interim chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on what happened with the Bernard Madoff pyramid scheme ...


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