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Inside Washington (05/15/2009)
* WASHINGTON (5/18/09)--Questions have arisen from financial industry critics about whether the Federal Reserve System should be revamped. Among the suggestions: downsizing the role of the 12 Fed regional banks to make them work with other field offices, or changing the Fed’s corporate governance framework (American Banker May 15). The Fed has always had an “odd” role, according to Douglas Landy, a Allen & Overy partner and former New York Fed lawyer. The Fed is owned by its members, but it also has supervision powers, he said. Two weeks ago, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he wanted to examine conflict-of-interest issues at the Fed banks but it would need to wait until after the financial crisis has passed ... * WASHINGTON (5/18/09)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed amendments to increase protections for investors who entrust their money to investment advisers. The measures are intended to ensure that advisers who have “custody” of clients’ funds and securities are properly handling those assets. In recent enforcement actions, firms and principals have been charged with misusing clients’ money and covering it up by distributing false account statements. Investment advisers generally don’t have physical custody of funds or securities--instead, assets are maintained with a broker-dealer or a bank, called a “qualified custodian.” The amendments, if adopted, would promote independent custody and allow independent public accountants to act as third-party monitors, the SEC said ... * WASHINGTON (5/18/09)--Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) met with New York State credit union representatives during meetings coordinated by the Credit Union Association of New York. The groups discussed the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Corporate Stabilization Program, and other credit union issues. Accompanying the group was Association President/CEO William Mellin, Senior Vice President and General Counsel Michael Lanotte and Vice President of Governmental Affairs Amy Cramer. In addition to meeting with Schumer (pictured) and staff from Gillibrand’s office, the group met with these representatives from New York’s congressional delegation: Gary Ackerman (D-Metropolitan), Michael Arcuri, (D-Utica-Rome), Timothy Bishop (D-Long Island), Yvette Clarke (D-Metropolitan), Eliot Engel (D-Metropolitan/Westchester-Rockland), Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo/Jamestown), Steve Israel (D-Long Island), Peter King (R-Long Island), Christopher Lee (R-Buffalo/Niagara/Rochester), Nita Lowey (D-Catskill-Hudson), Daniel Maffei (D-Central New York), Carolyn Maloney (D-Metropolitan), Gregory Meeks (D-Metropolitan), Paul Tonko (D-Capital), and Nydia Velazquez (D-Metropolitan). They also met with NCUA Chairman Michael Fryzel and his staff. (Photo provided by CUNA) ...

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