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Inside Washington (03/22/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (3/23/12)--The U.S. Treasury Department is asking the Federal Housing Finance Agency to reconsider its strategy not to accept principal reductions on loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told lawmakers Wednesday (American Banker March 22). Geithner, who appeared at a hearing with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke before the House Oversight Committee, said Treasury is trying to convince FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco that in some cases an economic case can be made that principal write downs would limit the future losses for the government-sponsored enterprises. Demarco has said other tools such as lower interest rates and longer loan terms would more effectively limit losses. ...
  • WASHINGTON (3/23/12)--Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray said Wednesday regulators should consider the differences between financial institutions when drafting rules--rather than drafting separate rules for financial institutions of different sizes, as he had previously said. Cordray's remarks were made in answer to a question posed at a Consumer Bankers Association conference (American Banker March 22). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB is responsible for oversight of financial institutions with assets of more than $10 billion. …
  • WASHINGTON (3/23/12)--John Walsh, acting Comptroller of the Currency, told bankers that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, along with other federal financial regulators spoke out against the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act Wednesday. (American Banker March 22). The bill would give financial institutions the right to appeal regulatory exams to an independent ombudsman. Walsh said his agency has put in place a process for banks to appeal exams, including an ombudsman. Walsh said the new measure would require the creation of a new federal bureaucracy--a program office under the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council that will have to be newly funded and staffed. …

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