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FASB rejects fair value disclosure plan

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WASHINGTON (1/26/09)—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) decided not to finalize a proposed FASB Staff Position (FSP) on FAS No. 107, regarding disclosures for financial instruments. The proposal would have required disclosures based on fair value and on "incurred loss amounts." FASB stated, however, that it will issue a new proposed FSP that would require disclosures of fair value measurements for financial instruments within the scope of FAS 107, Disclosures about Fair Value of Financial Instruments. Additionally, the proposed FSP would reiterate qualitative disclosure requirements in Statement No. 107 and FASB Statement No. 157, Fair Value Measurements, according to the Board. The Board indicated that the new proposed FSP would not require disclosures for “incurred loss” amounts. The proposed FSP is expected to be released sometime this week and will be open for a 30-day comment period. The proposal would apply for interim and annual periods ending after March 15, 2009.

Inside Washington (01/23/2009)

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* WASHINGTON (1/26/09)--The Credit Union Association of New York’s Michael Lanotte, senior vice president and general counsel, and Amy Kramer, vice president of governmental affairs, met five freshman members of New York’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. recently. Kramer and Lanotte discussed the credit union difference while meeting with Reps. Chris Lee (R-Buffalo/Rochester); Daniel B. Maffei (D-Central New York); Eric J.J. Massa (D-Finger Lakes/Jamestown); Michael E. McMahon (D-Metropolitan); and Paul D. Tonko (D-Capital/Southern Adirondack). Lanotte and Kramer also advocated for credit union access to Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, lifting the member business lending cap, and modernizing credit union’s capital requirements, and emphasized the importance of maintaining a separate credit union regulator. From left are: Kramer; Maffei; Tom Gannon, Credit Union National Association senior legislative representative; and Lanotte. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New York) ... * WASHINGTON (1/26/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) will meet Tuesday to discuss a proposal regarding interest rate restrictions for institutions that are less than well-capitalized. The agency also will discuss a final rule on processing deposit accounts in case of an insured depository institution fails. The meeting will be Webcast via the Internet and made available on-demand after the event ... * WASHINGTON (1/26/09)--The U.S. financial regulatory system is outdated and significant reforms are critically and urgently needed, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Thursday. “The current regulatory approach has significant weaknesses that if not addressed will continue to expose the U.S. financial system to serious risks,” said the 99-page report. Determining how to create and implement a regulatory system that reflects new market realities is key to reducing the chance that the U.S. will experience another financial crisis, the GAO said ... * WASHINGTON (1/26/09)--The House Financial Services Committee will meet Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. to appoint majority and minority members to subcomittees, committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced Friday. The committee also will consider a resolution adopting the rules for the 111th Congress ... * WASHINGTON (1/26/09)--New York Gov. David Paterson announced that Rep. Kristin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) will succeed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. The appointment lasts until 2010. Gillibrand is a second-term representative. She has represented New York’s 20th Congressional District. A special election will be held to fill Gillibrand’s vacant seat. The Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY)’s governmental affairs staff participated in a credit card hearing with Gillibrand in 2007 and established a solid relationship with her regarding the credit union difference and issues that concern New York’s credit unions, CUANY said. “On behalf of New York’s credit union community we congratulate Rep. Gillibrand on her appointment,” said CUANY President/CEO William J. Mellin. “We look forward to growing our relationship with her and advancing credit unions’ legislative agenda in the Senate.” ...

Software patch added to 5300 reports

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/26/09)—The National Credit Union Administration posted a notice on its 5300 Call Report webpage stating that a software patch was required to fix an error. “An error was discovered which effects the December 2008, 5300 Call Report Uninsured Shares accounts on page 5. A software patch was created to correct the problem,” the notice says. It goes on to guide installation instructions and patch downloading. Use the resource link below to read more.

CUNA urges new players attention to CUs

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WASHINGTON (1/26/09)— The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) last week urged key lawmakers to remember credit unions when considering the pressing issues confronting the new administration and Congress. After the Presidential inauguration on Jan. 20—and on the cusp of Senate confirmation hearings--CUNA sent letters to the leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Those panels are tasked with considering nominees for positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Council of Economic Advisors, among others. In the letter, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica wrote that CUNA endorsed the Obama administration’s choices and acknowledged that each face “unprecedented challenges.” “While the U.S. Treasury is the agency charged with implementing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA), these nominees will have an important voice in key decisions regarding the use of TARP funds to mitigate the economic crisis,” wrote Mica. Mica reminded lawmakers that while EESA clearly includes credit unions among the institutions that should be eligible for TARP assistance, there has been no serious consideration at Treasury of credit unions’ needs for TARP relief. In general, Mica assured, credit unions are doing well and working hard to make funds for loans available to individuals and member businesses, to the extent statutory limitations permit. However, there are credit unions that have been seriously hurt by the impact of the problems in their markets. In a related story, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) issued a press release last week that noted she voted against the release of the second $350 billion of the TARP funds. She did so in part, she said, because of the way Treasury has handled the funds so far. “What is clear is that little of the funds went to the small banks and credit unions that actually keep our communities growing,” she said.