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Inside Washington (12/09/2009)
* WASHINGTON (12/10/09)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Tuesday he plans to introduce a bill that would encourage mortgage modifications by designating one investor to represent the interests of others (American Banker Dec. 9). Frank also planned to add an amendment Wednesday to regulatory reform legislation to allocate $3 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money to help unemployed homeowners. Assistance would be capped at $50,000 per homeowner. The amendment also would use $1 billion from TARP to stabilize neighborhoods and redevelop foreclosed and abandoned homes … * WASHINGTON (12/10/09)--The Senate Banking Committee is slated to meet Dec. 17 to vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke to serve in his role another four years. Bernanke's nomination is expected to earn approval. His current term ends Jan. 31 (American Banker Dec. 9) … * WASHINGTON (12/10/09)--The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), though flawed, served its purpose to stop an economic panic, according to a report released by the Congressional Oversight Panel. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was criticized for failing to articulate specific goals for the program, and the program’s foreclosure mitigation efforts were cited as inadequate (The New York Times Dec. 9). Geithner is slated to testify today before the panel. The panel, headed by Elizabeth Warren, was created in 2008 to track TARP’s effectiveness … * WASHINGTON (12/10/09)--The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will be extended through Oct. 3, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday. The economy has improved, but TARP needs to be extended to help homeowners and small businesses, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. He noted he does not expect the program to extend more than $550 billion. The program will be limited to helping small businesses and community banks, mitigating foreclosures, and increasing the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility. TARP will be used only for items deemed necessary to help the financial industry. If other actions are needed, Geithner said he would first consult with the Federal Reserve Board chairman and submit a notification to Congress (American Banker Dec. 9) …

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