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Inside Washington (03/01/2010)
* WASHINGTON (3/2/10)--Donald Kohn, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve board, will step down from his post when his term ends in June (The Wall Street Journal March 1). Kohn, 67, has been a close adviser to Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and former chairman Alan Greenspan. Daniel Tarullo, who was named to the Fed board last year, could succeed Kohn as vice chair. Kohn has been at Bernanke’s side for many critical decisions during the financial crisis, the newspaper said. Bernanke noted that the Fed and the country owe a “tremendous debt of gratitude” to Kohn for his contributions. Kohn was appointed to the Fed board in 2002 and promoted to vice chair in 2006 ... * WASHINGTON (3/2/10)--A plan to restrict securitizations by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is being criticized by industry observers, who claim that the action would hurt the secondary market. In December, the FDIC said it would consider conditions to protect assets from FDIC after a bank failure. Banks, including JP Morgan Chase and Co., Capital One Financial Corp. and Bank of America, oppose the FDIC plan. They said the conditions would not only harm the securitization market, but curb risk management and harm credit availability. The FDIC has received 34 comment letters from trade group noting that the proposal could scare investors and give non-banks a “competitive advantage” (American Banker March 1) ... * WASHINGTON (3/2/10)--Members of two House committees on Financial Services and Small Business criticized bank and thrift regulators for a drop in lending to businesses. However, leaders at top banking and thrift regulatory agencies said tight credit is resulting from the struggling economy and a drop in demand. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) said regulators are part of the lending problem because they restrict the ability of financial institutions to lend to small businesses (American Banker March 1). The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) testified at the hearing, urging Congress to allow increased member business lending for credit unions to help the credit and jobs market. Credit unions are currently capped at lending 12.25% of their assets. CUNA estimates that if the cap is lifted to 25%, credit unions could put $100 billion into the economy with 100,000 new jobs ...

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