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Inside Washington (05/22/2008)
* WASHINGTON (5/23/08)--The Education Department Wednesday announced a plan that would use Treasury funds to purchase private student loans. The plan, which aims to increase liquidity in the market, would encourage lenders to participate in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and would allow them to make FFELP loans until Sept. 30, 2009 (American Banker May 22). The department plans to purchase the loans at par value, a 1% origination fee, accrued interest and a fixed amount of $75 per day for administrative costs ... * WASHINGTON (5/23/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to release its banking profile for the first quarter on May 29 (American Banker May 22). In February, the agency reported banks earned $5.8 billion for the fourth quarter, which was the lowest number in 16 years. It also placed 76 financial institutions on its “problem list” ... * WASHINGTON (5/23/08)--Regulators are expected to take a closer look at financial institutions that rely mostly on brokered deposits (American Banker May 22). Four of five recent bank failures were attributed to the deposits, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair said last week that institutions relying on the deposits will be scrutinized more closely. Though brokered deposits aren’t necessarily risky themselves, they can signal future problems if an institution is experiencing growth too quickly, according to some regulators ... * WASHINGTON (5/23/08)--Federal Reserve Gov. Kevin Warsh said Wednesday that he is open to talking about reform for financial regulation, but noted that the process to reform federal regulatory agencies will take awhile (American Banker May 22). Warsh acknowledged the efforts of some for prioritizing reform at the top, and said discussions likely will take place with congressional members. In March, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson released a blueprint that would overhaul regulation for financial institutions. Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica sent Paulson a letter stating that CUNA was concerned the reform would eliminate credit unions as they function today ... * WASHINGTON (5/23/08)--The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration yesterday issued a joint statement with final illustrations for helping consumers understand certain hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) products. The illustrations are intended to help financial institutions provide clear, balanced and timely information to consumers about the benefits and risks of ARM products. The illustrations, which financial institutions are not required to use, will be available in English and Spanish ...


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