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News Now

Inside Washington (02/12/2009)
* WASHINGTON (2/13/09)--Lisa J. McCue has been named the new vice president of editorial communications at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), where she will head CUNA’s News Now and NewsWatch, as well as develop other projects. McCue joined CUNA as a communication specialist in 2005. Her responsibilities included writing, editing and producing News Now and NewsWatch, and working on other special projects such as CUNA’s Power of Association brochure. McCue replaces Dave Klavitter, who now serves as senior vice president of marketing and public relations at Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa. McCue previously worked as a writer and editor for the National Council of Savings Institutions, a reporter for American Banker and a writer for newsletters on issues of international finance, as well as general circulation publications ... * WASHINGTON (2/13/09)—U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rejected criticism that the Obama administration’s new post-Troubled Asset Relief Program Financial Stability Plan lacks sufficient detail at this point. He told lawmakers (The New York Times Feb. 12) at a hearing Wednesday he understood Wall Street’s appetite for detail. But he argued that it would be far more costly, as well as less effective, to rush a plan that might need expensive revisions at a later date. Geithner has been in office just two weeks, and administration officials and lawmakers have said he wants to avoid repeated course changes that ultimately challenged the credibility of his predecessor’s actions under the Bush administration … * WASHINGTON (2/13/09)--A seven-hour hearing on Wednesday with eight CEOs of large banking institutions and members of the House Financial Services Committee focused on how bankers were using Troubled Asset Relief Funds (TARP) and how quickly they planned to repay them. Lawmakers asked the CEOs if they were charging the government appropriate fees for their help. Bank of America and Citigroup CEOs appeared baffled when asked that question (American Banker Feb. 12). House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also asked bankers to show that they are on taxpayers’ sides. Bankers must be willing to cooperate or make sacrifices, Frank told the CEOs. The bankers said they supported Frank’s efforts to create a systemic risk regulator and streamline supervision ... * WASHINGTON (2/13/09)--The second half of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will not be enough to revive the financial sector, lawmakers said after a hearing Wednesday. Treasury will need another $500 billion on top of the $350 billion from TARP, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said. Conrad said he encouraged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to ask for more money. The Treasury has said it plans to inject more capital into banks, use $50 billion to create a foreclosure mitigation plan, and use up to $80 billion to expand the Federal Reserve Board’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility ... * WASHINGTON (2/13/09)--Bank regulators’ roles may expand as hundreds of examiners are beginning to stress-test JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup and other large financial institutions to assess their financial health. The new test, which also could be applied to small and mid-sized banks, likely contains tougher requirements than previous standards used by regulators to decide which banks could receive money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Regulators are expected to assess the losses a bank could incur during the next two years instead of one year. They also will analyze banks’ exposure to assets and derivatives, check for capital cushions, and require institutions to raise more capital if they fail the tests. The exams could nationalize banks that fail the tests, analysts say. Companies may not want to get involved with a government-run bank, said Jaret Seiberg, policy analyst, Stanford Group ...


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