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Washington
Inside Washington (09/18/2009)
* WASHINGTON (9/21/09)--Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee Thursday rejected claims that derivative trades on clearing platforms or exchanges could be costly for counterparties (American Banker Sept. 18). Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said many large derivative traders and dealers would urge the committee to loosen proposed regulations to regulate derivatives so they would not lose profits. Under the bill, a central clearing party would set margin requirements. While there is a cost to central clearing, there also is a benefit, said Garry O’Connor, chief product officer for the International Derivatives Clearing Group. Companies that engage in derivatives trading could find a way to centrally clear their trades, even if they don’t have the cash for a clearing platform’s margin requirements, he said. The committee is scheduled to hold a second meeting Tuesday ... * WASHINGTON (9/21/09)--Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner conducted a meeting Thursday regarding government actions against mortgage fraud (American Banker Sept. 18). At the meeting were Eric Holder, attorney general; Shaun Donovan, Housing and Urban Development secretary; Jon Leibowitz, Federal Trade Commission chairman; and Jim Freis, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network director. The meeting followed an April announcement about a multi-agency effort to stop fraud. The Obama administration is acting preemptively to stop fraud, Geithner said. Efforts include alerting financial institutions, education about fraud and increasing enforcement ... * WASHINGTON (9/21/09)--Panel members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission discussed whether Congress should wait for the panel’s December 2010 report before overhauling the financial regulatory system (American Banker Sept. 18). Brooksley Born, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Bob Graham, former senator from Florida, said Congress should not wait. The commission should not contribute to procrastination, Graham said. Peter Wallison, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said Americans and Congress need to know the extent of the financial crisis before action is taken ... * WASHINGTON (9/21/09)--The Federal Reserve is working on a set of rules that would be one of the most sweeping to regulate pay at the nation’s banks. The rules would affect top executives, loan officers, traders and other staff. The Fed plans to analyze the compensation in terms of structure, bonuses and excessive risk-taking. Executive pay has been viewed by some financial experts as a contributor to the financial crisis. The rules won’t be ready for several weeks, but they are scheduled to be discussed at the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh this week. The G-20 was created in 1999 to bring together systemically important developing and industrialized economies to discuss global economic issues ...


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