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Inside Washington (11/05/2009)
* WASHINGTON (11/6/09)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter Tuesday to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission that he would continue to strengthen his bill on derivatives. Frank said he would draft amendments that would address who has the power to decree that a derivative should be cleared and to determine which derivative users can be exempted from clearing requirements (American Banker Nov. 5). Originally, Frank’s bill would have given for-profit clearing platforms the ability to decide what contracts to clear. But observers have said clearinghouses would base their decisions on their own interests ... * WASHINGTON (11/6/09)--Guidelines released Friday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provided needed clarification for banks on how they should handle troubled credits when modifying commercial real estate (CRE) loans, financial observers said (American Banker Nov. 5). The guidance includes a series of examples of CRE loan workouts. It also aims to cover examiners who would penalize banks for not marking down poor performing loans. Though the guidance will provide clarity for banks, it’s unknown if it will stabilize the housing market, observers said. Richard Spillenkothen, former Federal Reserve Board director, said the guidance is helpful, but it’s also a reiteration that for certain borrowers, restructuring can be helpful for both the borrower and lender. But judging that is “tricky and difficult,” he said. Ron Glancz, partner at Venable LLP, said the guidelines could have a big impact on the CRE market. If examiners apply the guidelines, it could be a great help to banks with large CRE portfolios, he said ...


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