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Inside Washington (04/14/2010)
* WASHINGTON (4/15/10)--Democrats and Republicans continue to debate a proposed regulatory reform bill. Republicans say the proposed bill is unacceptable for passage, but the bill’s author, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), said he was optimistic the bill would pass the Senate (American Banker April 14). Dodd said he assumed Republicans would eventually support the bill. Democrats need one Republican to support the bill to ensure its passage, but Dodd said he expects more than one to vote for it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said the bill does not end the “too big to fail” dilemma and would encourage more bailouts of big banks. Shelby said he hopes that lawmakers can reach an agreement on the legislation, but no Republicans would support the bill as drafted. The bill would not passed the Senate, he added ... * WASHINGTON (4/15/10)--The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has focused on Citigroup guarantees the company used to trigger sales of mortgage-backed debt that cost the company $14 billion (Bloomberg News April 14). Panelists may conclude that the cause of Citigroup’s bailout was that traders used liquidity to boost sales, according to Phil Angelides, commission chairman. Citigroup had to buy $25 billion of collateralized debt valued at 33 cents per dollar when financial markets tumbled in 2007. American International Group faced a similar situation when it went bankrupt in 2008, Angelides said. Citigroup CEO Charles Prince and executive committee chairman Robert Rubin testified last week before the commission, saying that they did not know the risks posed by using the instruments ... * WASHINGTON (4/15/10)--Treasury’s programs to mitigate foreclosures, even though they are fully operational, will not reach the overwhelming majority of homeowners in trouble, according to a Congressional Oversight Panel report released Tuesday. “Treasury’s response continues to lag well-behind the pace of the crisis,” the panel said in its executive summary. “As of February, only 168,708 homeowners have received final, five-year loan modifications--a small fraction of the six million borrowers who are presently 60 days or more delinquent on their loans.” The panel also raised concerns about the timeliness, sustainability and accountability of the Treasury’s programs. The panel previously noted concerns about Treasury’s foreclosure programs in October ... * WASHINGTON (4/15/10)--Credit union representatives from Kansas City, Mo., encouraged House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), center, to support lifting member business lending limits on credit unions, according to the Missouri Credit Union Association (The Missouri difference April 14). Pat Yokley, CommunityAmerica government affairs consultant (left) and Mazuma CU President/CEO Rob Givens met Frank at an event for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-5) at the Kansas City Club April 4. Cleaver serves on the House committee with Frank. “I talked with both Cleaver and Frank about our need to lift member business lending limits, and asked for their help in moving this issue forward,” Givens said. “At a time when lawmakers are looking to create jobs and opportunities, it is frustrating that credit unions cannot do more because of an arbitrary limit. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association) ...


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