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Inside Washington (09/16/2010)
* WASHINGTON (9/17/10)--Elizabeth Warren, who chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel, will oversee the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an assistant to President Barack Obama, said an official briefed on the decision (The New York Times Sept. 16). Warren would be allowed to run the bureau without a traditional Senate confirmation. The bureau was created under the Dodd-Frank Act. Warren will be named also will be a special adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. She will report to both Geithner and Obama. The regulatory reform law gave the Treasury power over the bureau until a permanent director is confirmed by the Senate for a five-year term. Warren, 61, is a Harvard professor and authority on bankruptcy law ... * WASHINGTON (9/17/10)--During a recent hearing, Michael Barr, Treasury Department assistant secretary for financial institutions, said the Obama administration would unveil a plan next year to revamp the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, many Republicans said the administration should already have a plan. The plan will be out in January, Barr said, although he had no other details (American Banker Sept. 16). Also during the hearing, Edward DeMarco, Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director, criticized large financial institutions for not repurchasing bad mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As of the second quarter, Fannie and Freddie had $11 billion in outstanding repurchase requests. FHFA may take action if discussions between lenders and enterprises are not fruitful, DeMarco said ... * WASHINGTON (9/17/10)--An exemption for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding public disclosure requirements is needed because financial firms won’t provide some information to the agency if they think it will be released, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said Thursday (The New York Times Sept. 16). Some lawmakers have suggested closing a loophole in the financial overhaul law that would permit SEC to withhold from the public some records related to its monitoring of financial firms, including hedge funds and investment advisers. The exception is needed for SEC to develop a solid examination program to better protect investors, she said ... * WASHINGTON (9/17/10)--Senators told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that China’s economic and trade policies are roadblocks to the U.S.’s economic recovery. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said China manipulates its currency to subsidize exports and asked why the administration is refusing to designate China as a currency manipulator (The New York Times Sept. 16). Geithner said he agreed that the Chinese currency was significantly undervalued and that the U.S. would work with the Group of 20 and the International Monetary Fund to mitigate some of the issues related to the currency issue. The administration also is reviewing a complaint by a United Steelworkers union regarding Chinese policies in the renewable energy sector ...


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