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Inside Washington (04/18/2008)
* WASHINGTON (4/21/08)--House Democrats are not waiting any longer for regulators to curb abusive credit card practices. Waiting for the Federal Reserve Board to act during the subprime mortgage crisis was a mistake, said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) during a Thursday hearing (American Banker April 18). Frank indicated that it is appropriate for Democrats to take action, although Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) argued Congress needs to wait for the Fed and the Office of Thrift Supervision to define abusive practices. Frank and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) have proposed a bill that would create a cardholder’s “bill of rights” and ban double-cycle billing and universal default. The Fed is working on a proposal that would ban deceptive card practices and that could be released next month, said Sandra Braunstein, Fed director of consumer and community affairs ... * WASHINGTON (4/21/08)--A bill that would provide more liquidity for student loans passed through the House Thursday (American Banker April 18). Lenders are seeking other reforms, but they support the bill. The bill would allow the Education Department to buy Federal Family Education loans as a backup ... * WASHINGTON (4/21/08)--Three former Fannie Mae top executives agreed Friday to pay $31 million in a settlement to remedy claims that they boosted their bonuses by manipulating earnings. Regulators originally sought $200 million from the three (MarketWatch April 18). Former chief financial officer Timothy Howard will pay $6.4 million, former controller Leanne Spencer will pay $275,000 and former CEO Franklin Raines will pay $24.7 million ... * WASHINGTON (4/21/08)--National Small Business Week launches with a webcast, “Healthcare: Cost and Coverage” Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. EDT, according to the Small Business Administration. The week features national awards and issue forums. For more information, visit the website ...

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