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Inside Washington (11/04/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (11/7/11)--Holly Petraeus, who leads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau division charged with protecting military servicemembers, testified at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last week that her work is being hampered by the lack of a director at the bureau's top. Because there is no director, the CFPB cannot yet by law supervise payday lenders, private student loan companies and other non-bank lenders to prevent potential abusive practices toward the military and their families. (American Banker Nov. 4) Forty-four Republican senators have publicly vowed to block White House nominee Richard Cordray, or another nominee, to head the CFPB unless the Obama administration replaces the CFPB director spot with a five-member commission and gives federal financial regulators more veto power over the bureau's decision. Also at the hearing, Retired Navy Admiral Steve Abbot, who is president of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, a non-profit charity that serves active-duty and retired members of the military, said the 2007 Military Lending Act has worked to help protect servicemembers from some abusive practices,  but added that new predatory lending practices have arisen which continue to victimize his group's  clients. …
  • WASHINGTON (11/7/11)--Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) announced plans to investigate executive bonuses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after reports circulated that 10 executives at the two government-sponsored enterprises were expecting to receive more than $12 million in perks.  (American Banker Nov. 4) The Federal Housing Finance Agency is conservator of Freddie and Fannie, and Johnson said he would call on the agency's director to testify.  The senator said his committee, the U.S. Congress and taxpayers need to be confident that controls are in place and that conservator is upholding its responsibilities. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who is the ranking Republican on the panel, suggested officials at the Treasury Department should also testify. …


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