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Inside Washington (04/08/2009)
* WASHINGTON (4/9/09)--Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) warned Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that the department must follow restrictions on executive pay for companies that receive funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program ( April 7). On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that the Treasury was creating special entities to provide funds to banks and companies, Politico said. Towns told Geithner that he opposes any attempt to bypass the pay restrictions. Towns is the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ... * WASHINGTON (4/9/09)--The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), expecting to see a 30% increase in the industry’s volume this year, said it will automate mortgages. The FHA said it has prepared a draft for electronic mortgage signature specifications and will pilot the program (American Banker April 7). Financial industry observers questioned whether adopting the new process would be hard for lenders, but Kim Weaver, vice president of product management for Fiserv, disagreed. FHA will create useable standards, she said. Weaver also said she expects the FHA will act quickly on the automation. Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv is a core processor and provider of electronic lending applications for financial institutions, including credit unions ... * WASHINGTON (4/9/09)--Sixty-one housing agencies with poor records of handling government aid will receive more than $300 million in stimulus funds, USA Today reported Wednesday. The stimulus funds aim to create jobs by repairing public housing projects. The newspaper found that the 61 agencies have been challenged for mishandling of government funds with three or more audits since January 2004. Watchdog groups, such as the Citizens Against Government Waste, said taxpayers would have to “steel themselves” if they hear the money goes to waste. The Obama administration was allowed to withhold stimulus funds from agencies listed as “troubled” by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but HUD provided money to the agencies because they should receive an opportunity to improve housing, said a HUD spokesman ... * WASHINGTON (4/9/09)--The Treasury is providing support to automakers to help them overcome an industry slump. General Motors will receive $2 billion under the program and Chrysler LLC will receive $1.5 billion. The funds will help stabilize the companies, said Jenni Engebretsen, Treasury spokesman. Originally, $5 billion was available for any U.S. automaker who wanted to participate in the program. Ford declined to participate ...


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