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Inside Washington (04/13/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (4/16/12)--The U.S. Treasury Department's Hardest Hit Fund, which distributes money to state housing agencies to assist troubled borrowers, has been hampered by delays and disagreements with mortgage companies that must participate for the program to succeed, according to a report released last week by the Special Inspector General for the financial bailouts (American Banker April 13). The fund is part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program--known as TARP, a $700 billion bailout package released during the 2008 financial crisis. It was created to shore up Treasury's earlier effort to prevent foreclosures and provide assistance to underwater and unemployed borrowers in some of the country's weakest housing markets. The Treasury Department should have done more to facilitate participation by larger servicers and the government-sponsored enterprises, said Christy Romero, the special inspector general. As of Dec. 31, the fund had spent $217.4 million, or 3%, of the $7.6 billion that it was allocated …
  • WASHINGTON (4/16/12)--Charles Plosser, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said last week that  regulators are unlikely to meet the summer deadline for completion of a rule barring banks from proprietary trading and limiting their investments in private-equity and hedge funds (American Banker April 13).  Plosser said the complexities involving the rule may prevent regulators from meeting the July deadline. Both Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo have also indicated that regulators would be late in delivering a final version of the so-called Volcker Rule to Congress. The Fed has received close to 17,500 comments on the rule, which is opposed by many banks and some foreign governments. Much of the criticism is focused on the exceptions allowed by the rule …


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