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Inside Washington (06/22/2009)
* WASHINGTON (6/23/09)--The biggest flaw in the Obama administration’s plan to revamp the financial regulatory system may be that it doesn’t compel those overseeing the industry to use their power when problems come up, according to financial industry observers (American Banker June 22). Under the plan, federal regulators would have more power over systemically important institutions, but the plan does not say which institutions are considered important or how they should be resolved. Observers also expressed concerns that a consumer protection council to be created under the plan would have broad powers for the first few years after the financial crisis ends, but wouldn’t compel regulators to keep strict standards after the crisis has ended. Giving regulators more power is insufficient, said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) A lot of regulators who had power didn’t use it during the crisis, he said. President Barack Obama’s plan may need an item that prevents regulators from forgetting that what goes up during economic prosperity may come down, said Gerard Comizio, partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker. However, Obama’s plan would create a system of checks and balances, so one regulator can be more aggressive if another pulls back, he added ... * WASHINGTON (6/23/09)--Ellen Lazar has been appointed senior adviser for consumer policy to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair. Lazar will advise the chairman on issues relating to the agency’s consumer policy and programs. Lazar was a partner at Venture Philanthropy Partners, a philanthropic organization that invests in nonprofit institutions. She previously served as senior vice president for Housing and Community Initiatives at the Fannie Mae Foundation where she was responsible for grantmaking and management of the foundation’s national, regional and Washington, D.C., offices. She also has served as executive director of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. and director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund ...


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