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Inside Washington (08/10/2009)
* WASHINGTON (8/11/09)--The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced that it has adjusted the fee-based trigger for additional disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act to $579, effective Jan. 1, 2010. The Fed’s yearly fee adjustment would affect home mortgage loans that bear rates or fees above a certain amount. However, the Fed said that the adjustment does not affect the new rules for “higher-priced mortgage loans” that the board adopted in July 2008. The rules are determined by the use of a different rate-based trigger ... * WASHINGTON (8/11/09)--Several analysts have weighed in on last month’s proposal by Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and Fed Gov. Elizabeth Duke to make consumer protection a core mission of the Fed instead of creating a separate agency. The Obama administration has proposed a separate agency. Some financial observers perceived their comments as a proposal to expand the Fed’s mandate to maximize employment and promote price stability to include consumer protection (American Banker Aug. 10). Placing consumer protection with the other mandates could be troublesome because price stability and employment are more important than consumer protection, said George Kaufman, Loyola University professor. Robert Litan, Brookings Institution fellow, said placing consumer protection as a core function of the Fed gives the central bank the impression that it’s okay to spend more money on the mandates. Kevin Jacques, finance department chair at Baldwin-Wallace College, said the Fed’s consumer protection proposal is just talk. The Fed’s job is to oversee the safety and soundness of the financial system, and consumer protection is “further down the line,” he said ...


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