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Inside Washington (10/26/2009)
* WASHINGTON (10/27/09)--Members of the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) recently hiked Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to discuss with their constituents the proposed consumer financial protection agency; the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosures (CARD) Act; and other legislation involving overdrafts, interchange and member business lending. There was a high level of interest in the CARD Act and the effects the law would have on credit unions, according to NJCUL (The Weekly Exchange Oct. 19). “It was clear that Congress is looking for real-world examples of how these laws will affect credit unions and ultimately affect consumers,” said Paul Gentile, league president/CEO. Before hiking the Hill, the group started its day at Credit Union House with a regulatory briefing from the National Credit Union Administration and a legislative briefing with staff at the Credit Union National Association. (Photo provided by the New Jersey Credit Union League) ... * WASHINGTON (10/27/09)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) could introduce legislation that would affect how the government deals with financial institutions slated to be “too big to fail” (The New York Times Oct. 26). Frank’s bill would make it easier for the government to take over troubled institutions, eliminate management and shareholders, and change the terms of loans held by the institution. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was expected to endorse the changes to the bill during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday. The Obama administration’s “too big to fail” plan would already make it more expensive to be a large financial company whose failure could endanger the financial system and economy. The companies would be required to keep more money in reserves and would have more difficulty borrowing against their assets ... * WASHINGTON (10/27/09)--The director of the proposed consumer financial protection agency--approved by the House Financial Services Committee last week--would have extensive power. The director would be under advisement from two oversight panels but would not have to follow recommendations. Instead, the director would have the ability to address unfair or deceptive practices. Elizabeth Warren, professor at Harvard University, is perceived by industry observers to be the top candidate for the position. The financial services industry has balked at the agency, saying it could damage the industry. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), author of the consumer protection agency bill, supports it. During a press conference last week, Frank said a “top-heavy governance structure” could leave a consumer vulnerable without protection ... * WASHINGTON (10/27/09)--Consolidating bank supervisors into one agency would lead to failure, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said. He told reporters at a press conference that there is “no remote chance of it happening." The idea of a single regulator has been pushed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who plans to make consolidation a part of an upcoming reform bill ...


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