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Washington
Inside Washington (11/13/2008)
* WASHINGTON (11/14/08)--The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision Wednesday released guidance to banks and thrifts lending to creditworthy borrowers. The guidance focuses on strengthening capital, working with mortgage borrowers and structuring compensation ... * WASHINGTON (11/14/08)—The U.S. Treasury official in charge of overseeing the agency’s evolving $700 billion financial rescue fund, Neel Kashkari, will appear Friday before the House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on domestic policy. Kashkari, Treasury interim assistant secretary for financial stability and assistant secretary for international economics and development, is the sole first panel witness at a hearing titled, “Is Treasury Using Bailout Funds to Increase Foreclosure Prevention, as Congress Intended?” A second panel of witnesses will include Michael Barr, former deputy assistant secretary for community development, Treasury Department; Anthony B. Sanders, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University; and Alys Cohen, National Consumer Law Center. The hearing is scheduled to take place just two days after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a major shift in the agency’s Troubled Asset Relief Program … * WASHINGTON (11/14/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) this week issued a final rule analysis of the Federal Reserve Board’s changes to Regulation C, which implements Home Mortgage Disclosure Act provisions. The Fed’s revisions make the rule’s definition of “higher-priced mortgage loan” identical to Regulation Z. Before the change, Regulation C required lenders to report the spread between the annual percentage rate (APR) on a loan and the yield on comparable Treasury securities if the spread was at least three percentage points for first-lien loans or five percentage points for subordinate-lien loans. Under this final rule, a lender will report the spread if the loan APR exceeds an average of comparable prime mortgage rates by at least 1.5 percentage points for first-lien loans or 3.5 percentage points for subordinate lien loans … * WASHINGTON (11/14/08)--House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has scheduled a hearing Nov. 19 on a plan to provide $25 billion in loans for the Big Three automakers (CongressDaily Nov. 13). The heads of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are expected to testify. The bill is being drafted. Frank has said the funding would come out of the $350 billion portion of the $700 billion financial rescue fund that has not yet been designated by the Treasury. According to the article, Frank’s staff is studying the 1970s bailout of Chrysler as a starting point to drafting the bill … * WASHINGTON (11/14/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board of directors approved the new general counsel’s opinion on the insurability of funds underlying stored value cards and other nontraditional access mechanisms. The opinion, Opinion No. 8, replaces the previous Opinion No. 8, which was published in 1996 ...


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