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Inside Washington (03/13/2009)
* WASHINGTON (3/16/09)—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has scheduled discussion of fair value and mark-to-market accounting on its open meeting agenda today. The meeting, which is to start at 8 a.m. (ET) will be webcast and is accessible at www. At a House subcommittee hearing last week, FASB Chairman Bob Herz agreed to provide guidance on mark-to-market accounting on an expedited basis but Bob Herz agreed to provide guidance on mark-to-market accounting on an expedited basis, but it was unclear how far the guidance would go to address current pressures. Also at today’s meeting, the FASB intends to discuss how best to present other-than-temporary impairments in the financial statements… * WASHINGTON (3/16/09)—House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said last week he intends to strengthen mortgage lending underwriting reform started in last year’s Congress, with bans on 100% securitization and harsher penalties for offering borrowers mortgages they can’t afford. (American Banker March 13) Frank said he also wants to task mortgage servicers with loan modifications to prevent foreclosures. Speaking to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition last week, Frank promised a house bill on subprime mortgages in April… * WASHINGTON (3/16/09)—The treasurers of seven states, along with the American Bankers Association, are asking the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to use its “systemic risk” clause when dealing with failing community banks with hefty municipal deposits. The parties argue that the agency should back state programs set up to cover uninsured municipal deposits. However, such a move would be a significant step for the FDIC, according to observers, because that agency is dealing with its own funding issues. The FDIC is already planning a special fee to bolster its Deposit Insurance Fund as reserves have fallen to $18.9 billion. (American Banker March 13)…

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