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Inside Washington (11/12/2009)
* WASHINGTON (11/13/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) was expected to provide clarification Thursday on how to treat securitized loans at failed banks (American Banker Nov. 12). The move would significantly impact investors if the FDIC took ownership of the assets. Current policy keeps the assets off a failed bank’s books, but next year, a change in accounting rules could mean the banks may have to place the assets back on the books. As such, investors may rethink their participation in securitizations if the FDIC would later claim them ... * WASHINGTON (11/13/09)--A proposed fund to pay for the resolution of systemically significant institutions is triggering questions from the financial services industry. Senate and House bills would require large institutions to fund an assessment after a systemic collapse, but the House Financial Services Committee is expected to propose a prepaid system that would require institutions to pay before a failure. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is expected to release an amendment that would require institutions with more than $10 billion in assets to pay into the fund. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he supports the move (American Banker Nov. 12). The topic of a resolution fund has surfaced as a significant debate topic recently because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) Deposit Insurance Fund reached a high of $5.28 billion in 2008 but is now insolvent. Some observers said the proposed resolution fund would have to be “huge.” William Isaac, former FDIC chair, called the reserves a “big slush fund” ... * WASHINGTON (11/13/09)--The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that its reserves have fallen to a record low after another drop in home prices ( Nov. 12). The loan insurance ratio decreased to 0.53% in the year ended in September from 3% in 2008. FHA said it would tweak its risk models in case the fund falls below zero, which would trigger taxpayer aid. Congress requires the FHA is required to maintain a 2% threshold. The FHA, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, accounted for more than 90% of U.S. home loans in the first half of 2009 ...

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