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Inside Washington (11/26/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (11/27/12)--U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Schapiro will end her nearly four-year tenure at the top of the commission on Dec. 14, the agency said on Monday. SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter will take Shapiro's place, the White House announced. The New York Times reported that Walter may not serve her full term, adding that U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller and former Citigroup and Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck may be considered for the top SEC post …
  • WASHINGTON (11/27/12)--The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week claimed Texas' $285 million-asset State National Bank of Big Spring and assorted allies lacked the standing needed to challenge the legality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). (American Banker Nov. 21) Oklahoma, South Carolina and Michigan state attorneys general in September joined the bank's lawsuit, which claims that CFPB Director Richard Cordray was illegally appointed to lead that agency, and states that the CFPB itself is unconstitutional. The lawsuit also named the U.S. Treasury and other agencies and directors as defendants, arguing that elements of Dodd-Frank that give federal authorities the ability to seize and wind-down financial institutions are unconstitutional. The DOJ has noted that the bank must establish that it has been harmed for its legal challenge to have standing. While the bank has said pending regulations would harm its business prospects, the DOJ noted that none of these regulatory actions have actually occurred, and the bank's fear of future actions is not enough to support a court case …
  • WASHINGTON (11/27/12)--While the Senate Banking Committee has not released a formal agenda for next year's session of the U.S. Congress, committee spokesman Sean Oblack said Dodd-Frank oversight, mortgage finance reform, expiring authorizations and consideration of key Presidential nominees will likely be on the docket. (American Banker Nov. 25) However, Oblack noted, an official agenda will have to wait until committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has had time to consult with new committee members and the committee's new ranking member. Congressional observers said legislators may feel more able to address issues within Dodd-Frank following the election. Republicans may also be more apt to focus on how the Dodd-Frank can be fixed, rather than aiming for a full repeal of the bill …
  • WASHINGTON (11/27/12)--The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which exempts borrowers from paying taxes on short sales, principal reductions and other forms of debt forgiveness, will expire at the end of 2012 if the U.S. Congress does not act soon. (American Banker Nov. 21) Housing advocates have warned that the Act is a crucial part of housing market recovery efforts. Several bills that would extend the tax provisions have been introduced, but none have been passed. However, legislation that would extend the Act could be added to provisions meant to address the looming fiscal cliff. If the Act wins short-term extension, observers said it may not last much longer than that. They noted that improving housing markets, and increasing distance from the recent economic crisis, would make the tools offered by the Act harder to support in the long-term …


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