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Inside Washington (11/18/2010)
* WASHINGTON (11/19/10)--Sheila Bair will focus on bank resolution rules and capital requirements in the seven months remaining before her five-year term as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. ends June 26, 2011. In comments made during an interview and a public appearance, Bair said her priority will be putting rules in place to address the resolution of large financial institutions, including how claims are processed and operations are untangled (American Banker Nov. 18 and Nov. 17). Bair also said regulators must strengthen bank capital requirements to ensure that U.S. lenders can compete with international firms. Bair was on the committee that drafted the Basel III global agreement to raise both the amount of capital required and the standards for defining capital. Bair has refused to consider continuing at the FDIC or heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. After she leaves office, Bair is considering writing a book that would provide an insider’s account of the 2008 financial crisis and examine factors that could prompt the next banking crisis … * WASHINGTON (11/19/10)--The Federal Reserve Board issued guidance requiring the nation’s 19 largest banks to submit capital plans that must gain Federal Reserve approval before the banks can raise dividends or buy back shares. The 19 banks must use the plans to prove they can continue operations and withstand losses even under “adverse” conditions (American Banker Nov. 18). Key criteria include the ability to meet Basel III capital requirements and absorb losses based on models that predict how a bank would perform in specific scenarios, including widespread economic challenges. The banks must also show how they will repay U.S. government funding, if applicable, before increasing dividends. The 19 banks covered by the guidance were subject to stress tests in 2009 … * WASHINGTON (11/19/10)--Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., contradicted rumors of an appointment to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at a press conference where she conceded her seat in Congress to election opponent Joe Walsh, a Republican. A moderate who has served on the House Financial Services Committee, Bean said she did not think she would be appointed to lead the consumer agency (American Banker Nov. 18). When this week’s counting of provisional and absentee votes was completed, Bean lost to Walsh by 290 votes in a wealthy district that leans toward Republicans. Bean served three terms in the House of Representatives …


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