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Inside Washington (10/17/2008)
* WASHINGTON (10/20/08)--The Treasury may have wide powers to stabilize the market, according to observers. A provision in the $700 billion rescue bill gives the Treasury the ability to invest in banks directly, but the provision also provides for other options--such as rewriting mortgages, helping the auto industry and securing credit-default swaps (American Banker Oct. 17). The provision is “extraordinarily broad,” said Michael Barr, law professor at the University of Michigan and former Treasury official. Unlike other provisions in the bailout bill, which specify how the Treasury can purchase whole loans, securities or assets, there are no specifics on broad equity investments. The Treasury also could purchase student, auto, commercial construction and credit card loans as well ... * WASHINGTON (10/20/08)--Critics at a Senate Banking Committee hearing criticized the Federal Reserve Board, saying that it did not act quickly enough to stop abusive mortgage lending (American Banker Oct. 17). The crisis was preventable four or five years ago, said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). New mortgage rules were finalized by the Fed earlier this year ...


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