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Inside Washington (11/26/2007)
* WASHINGTON (11/27/07)—Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who as minority whip is the Senate’s No. 2 ranked Republican, announced Monday that he will be retiring by the end of this year. He said during a press conference that he is healthy and that he and his wife, Trisha, had decided it was time to “do something else.” Richard Gose, senior vice president for political affairs for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), said the retirement announcement could have been spurred in part by the Senate’s new ethics and lobbying rules that go into effect Jan.1, 2008. The new rules prohibit lobbying by a former senator for two years after leaving office... * WASHINGTON (11/27/07)--With the exception of Chicago, the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) are reporting increases in the number of advances they granted their financial institutions in the third quarter, some calling the uptick “unprecedented” in their filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (American Banker Nov. 26). FHLB New York reported an increase of 27.2%; Boston, 50.8%; Seattle, 48.2%; Des Moines, 45.3%; Atlanta, 37.3%; Pittsburgh, 30.3%, San Francisco, 28.6%; Cincinnati, 27.8%; Topeka, 15.9%; Dallas, 7.6%; and Indianapolis, 8.5%. FHLB Chicago reported a loss in advances of 6.3%. The increase in advances demonstrates the need for liquidity in regard to recent market problems, FHLB New York stated in its filing. On Monday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Board expressing his concerns regarding the FHLB Atlanta’s advances to Countrywide Financial Corp. (The Wall Street Journal Nov. 26). In its latest filing, Atlanta reported advances of $51.1 billion to Countrywide Bank, which accounts for 37% of FHLB Atlanta’s outstanding advances as of Sept. 30. The advances “may pose a risk to the safety and soundness of the FHLB system as a whole,” Schumer said. He urged the board to review FHLB Atlanta’s and Countrywide’s collateral evaluation policies …


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