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Inside Washington (09/16/2008)
* WASHINGTON (9/17/08)--The Merrill Lynch-Bank of America deal may have increased risks faced by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), according to industry observers. Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve Board waived long-standing limits, which are aimed to prevent commercial banks from bailing out their affiliates (American Banker Sept. 16). Observers say the waiver may have paved the way for Merrill Lynch to agree to sell itself to Bank of America. Lawmakers worry the FDIC will run out of funds to pay for bank failures because barriers designed to prevent commercial banks from bailing out their affiliates are being relaxed. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the agency is monitoring risks posed by the investment bank sector; and has taken steps to mitigate impact from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing. On Thursday, regulators will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on the IndyMac Bank failure ... * WASHINGTON (9/17/08)--The Federal Reserve Banks Monday announced “significant progress” converting customers to the FedLine Direct access solution ahead of sunset date Dec. 31 for legacy computer-interface technology. The conversion does not involve changes to message or file formats. The solution leverages a financial institution’s investment in Internet protocol-based technology. “As with all Federal Reserve access solutions, security and reliability are top priorities,” said Tony Fressola, assistant vice president of the Fed’s wholesale product office ... * WASHINGTON (9/17/08)--John A. Koskinen and Philip A. Laskawy will serve as the non-executive chairmen of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, respectively, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday. Koskinen worked at Palmieri Co., serving as president/CEO from 1979 to 1993. He also has served in several senior positions with the federal government, including deputy director for management in the Office of Management and Budget. Laskawy served as chairman/CEO of Ernst and Young from 1994 to September 2001. In 2006-2007, he served as chairman of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation ...


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