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Inside Washington (11/10/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (11/14/11)--U.S. Sens. Kay R. Hagan (D-N.C.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) were joined by Senate co-sponsors Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) in introducing legislation Wednesday to support the development of a U.S. covered bond market. The Hagan-Corker "United States Covered Bond Act of 2011" creates a legislative framework that expands funding options for U.S. financial institutions. Covered bonds provide U.S. financial institutions a new tool for obtaining long-term financing from private capital markets. Financial institutions in 30 countries--including Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada--issue covered bonds. This year, foreign banks have issued $32 billion of covered bonds to U.S. dollar investors. The funding that covered bonds provide would allow U.S. financial institutions to provide stable long-term credit to consumers, small businesses, and governments. In June, similar legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) passed through the House Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support …
  • WASHINGTON (11/14/11)--Three years after the government put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are still reporting billions of dollars of losses every quarter, and receiving aid from Treasury Department. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took a combined $14 billion in bailout funds during the third quarter (American Banker Nov. 10). Fannie and Freddie still hold numerous real estate-owned properties valued at par. The properties are expected to force the GSEs to report losses well into the future. Fannie on Tuesday reported a third-quarter loss of $5.1 billion, compared with a loss of $1.3 billion for the third quarter in 2010. This year's loss was created by credit expenses on losses from legacy loans originated before 2009, and losses on risk management derivatives from a decline in swap interest rates, the agency said …


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