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Inside Washington (10/21/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (10/24/11)--Lawmakers on Thursday raised concerns about whether U.S. regulators possess the insight to predict the impact a financial crisis in Europe would have on the U.S. financial system. During a Senate Banking Committee's security and international trade and finance subcommittee hearing, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked Lael Brainard, undersecretary for international affairs for the Treasury Department, whether his agency had the "real-time knowledge" to monitor depository exposure in Europe (American Banker Oct. 21). Direct exposure is relatively modest, and the most detailed information available is on money market funds, Brainard said. But even with moderate direct exposure to depository institutions, the financial crisis in Europe is a grave threat to the global financial recovery, and the fragile U.S. economy is vulnerable to offshore disruption, he added …
  • WASHINGTON (10/24/11)--Republicans--many of whom favor a more limited government role in the housing market--may be abandoning support for subsidizing the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) questioned the unintended consequences of subsidizing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage during a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday (American Banker Oct. 21). Lawmakers need to reconsider if the preferential pricing of the 30-year fixed mortgage is in the public's best interest, Shelby said. But not all Republicans agree. Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) is among the co-sponsors of a bipartisan bill that would preserve the 30-year fixed-rate loan …
  • WASHINGTON (10/24/11)--Thomas Hoenig, who recently retired as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has been nominated as vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the White House said Thursday night (American Banker Oct. 21). Hoenig has criticized "too big to fail" financial firms, and in interviews stated that the Dodd-Frank Act may intensify rather than minimize the impact of large financial institutions. The FDIC is currently implementing a new resolution system for winding down large firms in danger of failing--a key component of Dodd-Frank. Hoenig was the president/CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1991 to 2011 …

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