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Inside Washington (11/11/2008)
* WASHINGTON (11/12/08)--Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Director John Reich said that he plans to leave his position “sooner rather than later” (The Wall Street Journal Nov. 11). An exact date of his departure has not been set. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson suggested in March that the OTS and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency combine, which Reich rejected. The OTS is a division of the Treasury that oversees thrifts ... * WASHINGTON (11/12/08)--The Bush administration Monday purchased American International Group (AIG)’s troubled assets--the last time this type of authority will be used, according to observers (American Banker Nov. 11). Congress five weeks ago authorized the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The Treasury has not explained how the assets will be priced or if managers will be hired to oversee them. Observers say TARP’s lack of progress will hurt the market. At a speech Monday, Treasury Assistant Secretary Neel Kashkari was pressed for more details by audience members, but Kashkari said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will determine the next steps. Robert Clark, former comptroller of the currency, pointed out the Treasury is overstretched, and it’s hard to implement an unfamiliar program. Joe Mason, Louisiana State University professor, said it’s unlikely the asset-buying program will materialize ... * WASHINGTON (11/12/08)--No significant changes are expected at this weekend’s Group of Twenty (G-20) meeting, but observers say they hope the meetings will encourage collaboration with the Financial Stability Forum and international supervisory bodies. Forum representatives and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank presidents plan to attend the meeting. Both the bank and fund say they want to gain stronger international voices (American Banker Nov. 11). The forum announced recommendations in April for financial institutions to strengthen their liquidity and capital standards, and released an update of the recommendations last month to address specific issues regarding the nation’s financial crisis. Regulators need to avoid amplifying cycles that produced damage in the economy, said Svein Andersen, forum secretary general. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF managing director, also plans to put out a five-point plan for regulatory restructuring at the meeting ... * WASHINGTON (11/12/08)--The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) provided comments Friday on the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) proposed budget for 2009. NASCUS urged NCUA to consider the effect of changes to the federal examination program on state resources. It also asked for clarification on interpretations of NCUA’s proposed exam cycle changes and on questions about the authority, purpose and organization of the proposed National Examination Team. NASCUS also complimented NCUA on its proposal to centralize chartering functions and said the NCUA could improve the budget briefing public comment process by providing more information in additional formats ...


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