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Inside Washington (07/08/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/9/09)—Twenty Senate Democrats, with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and committee member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) at the lead, are pushing the Obama administration to take action to reduce home mortgage foreclosures. In a letter to the U.S. Treasury Secretary, the lawmakers—concerned by recent reports that borrowers wait up to two months for a response to a loan modification inquiry--said the government should use its authority to ensure servicers participating in the administration's Making Home Affordable foreclosure prevention program move more quickly. Among questions posed to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the senators asked if more legislation was needed (American Banker July 8) ... * WASHINGTON (7/9/09)—The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) took heat recently from its inspector general (IG) for sometimes slow and inefficient oversight actions regarding Franklin Bank of Houston prior to that institutions November failure. The IG said the agency was on target with recommendations, starting in 2003, that Franklin monitor its loan concentrations, reduce liquidity risk and beef up its auditing activities. However, the IG criticized the FDIC for not always ensure that management of the CAMEL 2-ranked bank responded adequately to agency recommendations. The IG cited risky lending in the demise of the state thrift that had $4.9 billion in assets. (American Banker July 8) ... * WASHINGTON (7/9/09)—At least in part due to criticism of its failure to uncover Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion ponzi scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is launching the biggest overhaul of its enforcement division in 30 years. The changes will result in more front-line investigators, fewer layers in the management level, and, probably, five specialist teams. The specialists will focus on such things as expanding, complex or opaque areas of the market, according to a July 8 article in American Banker ...

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