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Inside Washington (06/11/2008)
* WASHINGTON (6/12/08)--Citing schedule conflicts, the Senate Banking Committee has delayed a hearing that was to focus on underwriting practices at investment banks (American Banker June 11). Lehman Brothers Holdings, Goldman Sachs Group, UBS AG, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch and Co. were expected to have witnesses at the meeting. The hearing comes after New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner said investment banks should be able to access the Federal Reserve’s discount reserves but only if they were supervised by the central bank ... * WASHINGTON (6/12/08)--Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is being urged by 35 congressional members in a letter to keep tough conforming limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (American Banker June 11). Frank is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee. A house bill would let the two buy $729,500 in mortgages. The Senate Banking Committee’s bill would cap the loans at $550,000 ... * WASHINGTON (6/12/08)--The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has issued a final rule for loss severity calculations under OFHEO’s Risk-Based Capital Regulation. The rule corrects deficiencies in the formula used to calculate risk-based capital. The action results in two changes. The first stems from certain loss severity equations that cause Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to record profits instead of losses on foreclosed mortgages during the calculation of the risk-based capital requirement. The second addresses prior treatment of Federal Housing Administration insurance associated with single-family mortgages with a loan-to-value below 78%, which is inconsistent with current law ...


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