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Inside Washington (01/09/2009)
* WASHINGTON (1/12/09)--The financial regulatory system appears to be ill-suited to meet the nation’s needs in the 21st century, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a 107-page report released Thursday. The agency recommended that state regulators create a more effective regulatory model. The report was released as state regulators work on recommendations to emphasize the importance of state regulation. The recommendations, which will be released by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, state that regulation should be based on an institution’s size and consumer protection guidelines should fit state and federal institutions (American Banker Jan. 9). The GAO report also said a revamped regulatory system should include items such as clearly defined regulatory goals, consistent consumer protection and financial oversight, and have minimal taxpayer exposure ... * WASHINGTON (1/12/09)--The Treasury’s oversight of the $700 billion federal bailout--known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program--is faulted, according to a draft report from the Congressional Oversight Panel. The report was expected to be released Friday (The New York Times Jan. 9). In the draft, the panel criticized the Treasury for changing its explanations about the bailout’s purpose and not requiring financial institutions receiving money from the program to account for how the money was used. The Treasury has not yet commented on the panel’s assessment, but has continually told Congress that the rescue plan is working and has reduced foreclosures ... * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/12/09)--Consumer bankruptcy filings increased 33% in 2008, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) said last week. Data indicates that consumer filings for 2008 reached 1,064,927, compared with 801,840 filings in 2007. However, data indicates that 84,926 consumer filings in December represented a 15% decrease compared with November. “We expect the upward spike in personal bankruptcies to continue in 2009,” said Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI executive director ... * WASHINGTON (1/12/09)--Michael Fryzel (left), chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), visited South Side Community FCU (SSCFCU), Chicago. Fryzel congratulated SSCFCU, a $3.5 million-asset community development credit union, on its work as a start-up credit union, according to the Illinois Credit Union League. Fryzel also said he was impressed with the credit union’s financial education curriculum. “It was quite an honor for our credit union to be recognized by the NCUA chairman,” said Gregg Brown, SSCFCU CEO. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League) ...


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