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Inside Washington (02/29/2008)
* WASHINGTON (3/3/08)--The Federal Reserve Board plans to target credit cards in its proposal to stop unfair and deceptive practices in the financial industry, Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday during testimony before the Senate Banking Committee (American Banker Feb. 29). The proposal could be released next month. It would crack down on double-cycle billing, guide payment allocation and allow cardholders to opt out of interest-rate increases. In addition to the proposal, the Fed also proposed changes to Regulation Z to direct disclosures for credit cards. The Regulation Z proposal could be finalized when the deceptive practices proposal is opened to comments ... * WASHINGTON (3/3/08)--The Bush administration and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have strongly opposed taxpayer-funded lender bailouts to ease the housing crisis, but industry representatives are speculating that the administration could move toward a compromise (American Banker Feb. 29). Though the administration would like to avoid a bailout, it is being pressured, said Brian Gardner, KBW Inc. analyst. H. Rodgin Cohen, Sullivan and Cromwell LLP partner, said Paulson’s opposition to a bailout leaves “wiggle room” to help those in danger of losing their homes. Arthur Wilmarth, George Washington University Law School professor, said he predicted that some government help will be needed. A bailout will happen eventually, and it’s more politically pleasing for the administration to support homeowners instead of financial institutions, he said ... * WASHINGTON (3/3/08)--Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras announced Wednesday that she will leave the FTC later this month. She was appointed by President George W. Bush in August 2004. During her time with the agency, Majoras focused on data security and consumer fraud, including identity theft, spyware and deceptive spam ...

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