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Inside Washington (07/16/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/17/09)--At today’s House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “Industry Perspectives on the Obama Administration’s Financial Regulatory Reform Proposals,” the panel has scheduled the following witnesses: Former congressman Richard Banker, now president of the Managed Funds Association; Chairman/CEO William Brodsky of the Chicago Board Options Exchange; Executive Vice President Randy Snook of Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; Paul Schott Stevens, president, Investment Company Institute; Douglas Lowenstein, president, Private Equity Council; Diahann Lassus, president, Lassus Wherley on behalf of the Financial Planning Coalition; and Rob Nichols, president/CEO of the Financial Services Forum… * WASHINGTON (7/17/09)--National Credit Union Administration Chairman Michael Fryzel emphasized the need for continued member commitment among credit unions while speaking to the Michigan Credit Union League at its Annual Convention and Exposition last week in Traverse City, Mich. Credit unions are stepping forward to fill the void in financial services during the economic distress, Fryzel said, citing credit union’s proactivity helping small business owners. “The need for continued member commitment could not be greater. As credit union members continue to face the strains associated with the difficult economy, credit unions must recognize the essential role that they can play. The challenges are great, but so are the opportunities to make a real difference in the financial lives of millions of members,” Fryzel said ... * WASHINGTON (7/17/09)--The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which announced its team of commissioners Wednesday, will study fraud in the financial system to determine the cause of the financial crisis. The commission can conduct hearings to examine industry practices, and subpoena regulators and financial institutions for information. Phil Angelides, commissioner and former California state treasurer, has not specified which issues the commission will take up first. Brian Gardner, KBW Inc. analyst, said he expects the commission will be careful and use its power guardedly (American Banker July 16). Another observer, Karen Shaw Petrou, managing director of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., said the panel would be more concerned with blame than with policy, but that although the “blame game” would be unpleasant, it could be constructive. The committee’s budget has not yet been approved, though commissioners are paid $153,000 for each day that they work ... * WASHINGTON (7/17/09)--President Barack Obama’s proposal to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency triggered criticism from several financial services trade groups during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday. The committee invited the representatives to provide feedback on the plan. Among the concerns were questions about reduced credit access, limited consumer choice and rushed reform. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was angry at the industry’s concerns about the agency and said the witnesses were in denial about the financial crisis. She said the groups talk about preemption knowing that they would work to prevent any strong legislation coming from Congress (American Banker July 16). The Credit Union National Association said in a letter Tuesday to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that while it supports the creation of the proposed CFPA, “examination, supervision and enforcement” of the consumer protection rules should be left “to each credit union's prudential regulator” ...


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