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Washington
Inside Washington (08/19/2009)
* WASHINGTON (8/20/09)--Swiss bank UBS agreed Wednesday to disclose the names and account details for more than 4,450 Americans suspected of tax evasion (The New York Times Aug. 19). Thousands of names are expected to be disclosed, bringing the total of UBS-related names released to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to 10,000. The Swiss government will work with other Swiss financial institutions to release the identities of Americans who have hidden money offshore. UBS plans to notify the clients whose names will be disclosed. Recently, some Americans have disclosed their secret accounts to the IRS to avoid penalties and prosecution. Federal prosecutors have suspected UBS, the world’s largest private bank, of selling tax evasion services to many wealthy Americans ... * WASHINGTON (8/20/09)--Financial observers are nearly certain that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) will charge banks a second special deposit insurance premium. The FDIC warned in May that a second assessment could be charged. Since then, 43 banks have failed, costing the insurance fund $8 billion. The FDIC has not said how much it would charge, but the fee likely would be based on the ratio of reserves to insured deposits. In May, the ratio was 0.27%--88 basis points below the minimum (American Banker Aug. 19). The FDIC is expected to give a second-quarter report on the banking industry Aug. 27 ... * WASHINGTON (8/20/09)--Twenty-four state attorneys general sent a letter to financial services lawmakers supporting the Obama administration’s proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. In the letter, the attorneys general urged the administration to retain a provision that would give the states increased power. Under the plan, states could enforce tougher rules than the consumer agency and also enforce state and federal consumer protection laws against national banks (American Banker Aug. 19) ... * WASHINGTON (8/20/09)--Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills will lead efforts to ensure that minority-owned and small businesses have increased access to federal government contracting opportunities. Under the plan, federal agency procurement officials will participate in more than 200 events during the next three months to share information on government contracting opportunities--including those under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Beyond the 90 days, Commerce and the SBA will monitor and track the impact of their efforts for small businesses. “Small businesses employ half of the nation’s private sector work force; create a large share of the nation’s new jobs and introduce many groundbreaking ideas into the marketplace,” said President Barack Obama ...


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