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Inside Washington
* WASHINGTON (11/19/07)--Regulators shouldn’t be blamed for problems in the mortgage markets, said Alan Greenspan during a keynote speech at the opening session of the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery conference in Las Vegas Tuesday (American Banker Nov. 16). Global market forces had driven the crisis, and investors are going to “stay away,” eliminating the need for legislation, he said … * WASHINGTON (11/19/07)--A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reform bill and a bill that would increase the caps on the portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by 10% were held from voting Thursday (American Banker Nov. 16). Senate Democrats wanted to pass the FHA measure before Thanksgiving, but after it cleared Sen. Elizabeth Dole's (R-N.C.) hold, it was blocked from the Senate floor by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Coburn stated that he thought the bill was "too important to consider under unanimous consent." At the same time, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) brought the bill concerning the government-sponsored enterprises’ portfolio caps to the floor, winning support from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. But Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top-ranking Republican, rejected the measure. Democrats were expected to try for a vote again Friday … * WASHINGTON (11/19/07)—On Friday the Senate passed a measure that would make minor changes to the government’s terrorism risk insurance program and extend it past its expected sunset date at the end of this year. However, the Senate bill is significantly different from an approach approved earlier by the House that would expand the program, all but guaranteeing a face-off between the two houses of Congress. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has threatened to push through a three-month extension if differences cannot be worked out in December before Congress adjourns for the year. (CongressDaily Nov. 16)…


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