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Inside Washington (09/15/2010)
* WASHINGTON (9/16/10)--Banks need to better align their capital cushions with commercial real estate concentrations, and auditors should have a smaller role in setting loan-loss reserves, said Tim Long, certified national bank examiner. Long spoke Tuesday to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (American Banker Sept. 15). As banks’ concentrations increase, so should the buffer above regulatory capital minimums, which would provide more transparency, he said. Banks also should focus more on their own credit analysis than accountants’ advice when determining the proper amount of loss reserves. Some accountants didn’t recognize the risk leading up to the financial crisis, he added ... * WASHINGTON (9/16/10)--Senate Democrats support appointing Elizabeth Warren as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said the move would be a mistake. Dodd joins Republicans in saying that the appointment should be handled through the traditional Senate confirmation process--requiring at least 60 votes to block a filibuster. Dodd said he does not favor recess appointments and appointing Warren as interim head could set a poor precedent for future administrations (American Banker Sept. 15). Warren chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel and is a professor at Harvard University. When news broke that her classes at Harvard were cancelled, and that she had met with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., last week, financial observers began to speculate whether she would be appointed head of the bureau, which was created under the Dodd-Frank Act ... * WASHINGTON (9/16/10)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has issued guidance regarding the risks posed by sensitive information stored on certain electronic devices and how financial institutions should mitigate risks. Financial institutions should implement written policies to ensure a hard drive or flash memory with sensitive information is erased, encrypted or destroyed prior to returning to the leasing company, sold or disposed of, the letter said ...


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