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Washington
Inside Washington (06/15/2009)
* WASHINGTON (6/16/09)—House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and about two dozen other House Republicans are asking President Obama to identify what he will do with the $68 billion of rescue money that large banks and thrifts are expected to pay back to the U.S. Treasury Department’s financial rescue fund. In their letter to the chief executive, the House members asked whether the returned Troubled Asset Relief Program funds would be applied toward the federal debt, and they urged Obama to do so. (American Banker June 15)… * WASHINGTON (6/16/09)--The Office of Thrift Supervision received mixed reviews from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Inspector General (IG) for its actions in addressing PFF Bank and Trust. The IG agreed with the thrift regulator’s own assessment that more could have been done to limit PFF’s concentration of constructions loan. The Treasury assessment also said more could have been done to force the $3.7 billion-asset thrift to increase its capital level. On the other hand, the IG report said OTS’ delay in taking formal action against the thrift, while an investor considered a takeover, was appropriate. (American Banker June 15)… * WASHINGTON (6/16/09)--The Federal Reserve’s use of advanced emergency powers may have helped stave off the worst of the financial crisis, but House Republicans would look to reduce the Fed's future emergency authority by limiting its ability to intervene in a company’s affairs under “exigent” circumstances (American Banker June 15). Some have accused the Fed of acting irresponsibly and without accountability, and legislators, including House Financial Services Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass.), have said that some of the Fed’s current powers should be restricted. A new regulatory council to regulate systematically important institutions could address some of the issues and entities that the Fed is currently overseeing. Potential legislation could also require that Congress, the Treasury, or other regulators approve any emergency actions before they are undertaken, but some have said that such a move would only politicize the process of financial intervention…


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