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Inside Washington (11/05/2008)
*WASHINGTON (11/6/08)—The House Financial Services Committee announced Wednesday that it will conduct a hearing entitled “Private Sector Cooperation with Mortgage Modifications-Ensuring That Investors, Servicers and Lenders Provide Real Help for Troubled Homeowners.” Witnesses have not yet been announced for the Nov. 12 session… * WASHINGTON (11/6/08)--The next president of the U.S., president-elect Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will have a long to-do list when it comes to the financial markets, and he will have to act quickly, according to observers (American Banker Nov. 5). The largest task will involve rewriting the financial regulatory system. Other challenges include eliminating the government from banking in the private sector, deciding the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, focusing on foreclosure mitigation, and dealing with the Treasury’s $700 billion rescue plan. If funds are left over from the rescue plan, the president would have to decide how that money should be spent. Observers also expect that the president would have to solve accounting problems. Many in the financial industry have complained that fair-value accounting has been a large contributing factor in the financial crisis ... * WASHINGTON (11/6/08)--Critics claim that a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) plan that would guarantee bank debt is too punitive, narrow and costly for institutions that do not participate. The agency received about 50 letters from banks saying that the 75-basis-point charge for covering debt that is unsecured is too high (American Banker Nov. 5). The agency announced in October that it would guarantee the debt and back non-interest-bearing deposits to help credit markets. The interim rule was released Oct. 23 and provided information for participating institutions, including an opt-out until Nov. 14. Banks argued the timeframe was too short, so the FDIC said Monday it would allow banks to opt out until Dec. 5 ...


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