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Inside Washington (05/05/2010)
* WASHINGTON (5/6/10)--Support from lawmakers is growing for a provision that would tax the nation’s largest banks under regulatory reform legislation. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner endorsed adding the measure to legislation and he was supported by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said the tax would ensure banks pay for the costs of government bailouts (American Banker May 5). Geithner said the fee would apply to institutions with more than $50 billion in assets. Credit unions would not be included in the plan ... * WASHINGTON (5/6/10)--Banking industry representatives are fighting a plan that would force the divestment of swap desks. The provision would be counterproductive because it would increase risk by forcing derivatives trading to move offshore or to less regulated trading, such as hedge funds, representatives said. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) is working on an amendment that would eliminate the measure but is concerned it may fail because of fears stemming from political backlash for supporting big banks. He said the provision would weaken the market and cause a “contraction in credit” (American Banker May 5). The provision, by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), would require financial institutions that receive government support to divest their swaps trading desk ... * WASHINGTON (5/6/10)--Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) are working on an amendment that would limit the size of the six biggest U.S. banks (American Banker May 5). The measure would impose a 10% cap on any bank holding company’s share of insured deposits. The amendment could be voted on this week as part of a debate on a regulatory reform bill by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) ... * WASHINGTON (5/6/10)--Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) is pushing for tougher penalties on investment bankers who mislead customers on investment decisions. Specter said a fine is insufficient because it can be calculated as a cost of doing business. Criminal convictions might be more appropriate, he said (American Banker May 5). Specter spoke during a hearing on Wall Street. He chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs ... * WASHINGTON (5/6/10)--The Treasury Department is poised today to generate about $172 million from its auction of warrants to buy shares of Comerica Inc. The Treasury expects to sell 11.48 million warrants to buy common shares for $15 each. The department received the warrants through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Dow Jones May 5) ...


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