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Inside Washington (03/09/2009)
* WASHINGTON (3/10/09)—The Senate Banking Committee has hired three staff members, according to the “Washington People” section of the March 9 American Banker. Charles Yi was hired as a senior policy adviser and counsel and will cover Troubled Asset Relief Program oversight, insurance and commercial banking law, regulatory modernization, and other legislative issues. Yi was a counsel to the House Financial Services Committee. Beth Cooper is now a committee professional working on affordable housing and community development. She was a congressional liaison for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Mitch Warren has been hired by the banking panel to handle transportation issues as a senior policy adviser. He previously worked for Majority Leader Harry Reid on Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issues, and transportation and other issues for the Senate Budget Committee. The “Washington People” section also noted that Sen. David Vitter (R-La) has added Travis Johnson to his staff as a legislative assistant working on Senate Banking Committee issues… * WASHINGTON (3/10/09)—Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig said it is a misnomer to criticize the idea of public authorities taking over large institutions as being a nationalization of the country’s financial system. He said that step would be temporary and targeted at a limited number of failed institutions that needed cleaning up. The goal would be to return them to private ownership as quickly as possible. His comment appeared to be at odds with statements the same week by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Benjamin Bernanke who told the Senate Banking Committee that some companies are so large the government must do what is necessary to support them (American Banker March 9)… * WASHINGTON (3/10/09)—The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has said it is attempting to use its new premium structure to reduce the cost of bank failure or to at least move more of the potential high cost upfront. (American Banker March 9) Loss rates now are significantly higher than previous rates with estimated rates for the 16 failures so far in 2009 averaging 23% of the bank’s asset size. Lat year the loss rates for 24 failures, excepting Washington Mutual Inc., was around 25%. The FDIC’s final rule last month making changes to the premium structure are meant to temper the high cost. The rule takes aim at brokered funds and Federal Home Loan Bank advances, which the FDIC has identified as factors in the increased loss rates at failed banks…


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