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Inside Washington (07/09/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/10/09)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its first five-year strategic plan, which lists its three strategic goals as safety and soundness, housing mission and conservatorship. The document also features a resource management strategy that the agency will use in “fulfilling its mission to provide effective supervision, regulation and housing mission oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks to promote their safety and soundness, support housing finance and affordable housing, and support a stable and liquid mortgage market,” according to an FHFA release… * WASHINGTON (7/10/09)--During a Wednesday hearing on President Barack Obama’s plan for a new consumer protection agency, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee argued that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should retain its powers (American Banker July 9). The energy committee lost some of its powers in 2000 to the House Banking Committee, which was then renamed the Financial Services Committee. After the change, the Energy and House Financial Services committees have conflicted over what each is responsible for--including matters involving the FTC. Under Obama’s plan, the FTC and banking agencies would lose their authority over consumer protection issues. However, if the new consumer protection agency doesn’t act within 120 days on referrals, FTC or other banking agencies could pursue their own actions. Jon Leibowitz, FTC chairman, said consumers would benefit from the new consumer agency. The FTC would have “backstop authority” on financial matters concentrating on and doing more for consumers, he said ... * WASHINGTON (7/10/09)--The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia District Court upheld a rule by the Office of Thrift Supervision that allows newly converted thrifts to strengthen the limit on the amount of stock one person can own. Shareholder Joseph Stilwell had challenged the rule, filing a petition in August asking a federal court to set the rule aside. The rule would allow subsidiaries of mutual holding companies to limit their minority stock for 10% of the total stock (American Banker July 9). Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh said the rule was “reasonable” ...

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