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Inside Washington (09/01/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/2/11)--The Obama administration may announce a mortgage relief program next week, according to sources. The plan could include an initiative that allows some borrowers to refinance even if they owe more than their property’s value (Reuters Sept. 1). The administration’s aim is to help troubled homeowners take advantage of current low interest rates, which in turn would spur overall economic activity. The average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.22% last week, a historically low level, according to Freddie Mac. Borrowers who are current with their mortgages would refinance through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority, which together account for more than 90% of the U.S. mortgage market … * WASHINGTON (9/2/11)--The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday it will seek public comment on the use of derivatives by mutual funds and other investment companies regulated under the Investment Company Act. “The derivatives markets have undergone significant changes in recent years, and the commission is taking this opportunity to seek public comment and ensure that our regulatory approach and interpretations under the Investment Company Act remain current, relevant, and consistent with investor protection,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. The SEC is seeking public input through a concept release, which is a document that poses an idea or ideas to the public to get its views. The concept release is a continuation of the SEC’s ongoing review of mutual funds’ use of derivatives announced last year …


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