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Inside Washington (04/27/2009)
* WASHINGTON (4/28/09)--Last week, the Federal Reserve Board released some details about stress tests given to 19 of the nation’s largest banks. The Fed indicated that the tests showed banks were well-capitalized, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that several of those banks will not have to raise capital, said financial industry observers. According to an analysis by FBR Capital Markets, Bank of America Corp. is perceived to be one of the more vulnerable institutions. Wells Fargo, Regions Financial Corp., Fifth Third Bancorp and KeyCorp also are perceived to need more capital (American Banker April 27). The Fed has said it will release complete test results Monday. Regulators are encouraging banks to build up their capital to absorb potential losses. Fed officials also have cautioned that the stress tests may not be representative of worse-case scenarios ... * WASHINGTON (4/28/09)--Democrats are hoping to receive approval for a $3.5 trillion budget to celebrate President Barack Obama’s 100th day in office. A vote on the budget is scheduled in the House today and in the Senate Wednesday (The New York Times April 27). The budget, which is opposed by many Republications, is perceived to encompass Obama’s initiatives on transportation, education, energy and health care ... * WASHINGTON (4/28/09)--The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet today to decide whether the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) can enforce laws--even state laws--against a national bank (American Banker April 27). The case is related to a 2005 investigation conducted by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who asked Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Co., and JP Morgan Chase and Co. to provide him with data so he could determine if they engaged in discrimination. The banks did not give him the data, so Spitzer threatened to sue them. The agency said they did not have to give up the data because of visitorial powers. Current New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who took on the case after Spitzer, argued that a federal preemption does not prevent a state from prosecuting its laws. The OCC said that the court has already supported their position in the Watters V. Wachovia case, which ruled that OCC could enforce laws over banks ... * WASHINGTON (4/28/09)--David Moffett, former Freddie Mac CEO, has made a temporary return to the enterprise as a consultant after its former chief financial officer, David Kellerman, died last week (The Wall Street Journal April 27). Moffett resigned from Freddie Mac in March ... * WASHINGTON (4/28/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) warned banks Friday about shell scams. Shell companies are usually limited liability companies without significant assets (American Banker April 27). The businesses involved with the scams are offering customers with poor credit histories the ability to receive unsecured business loans by substituting their own information with the shell company’s information ...


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