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Inside Washington (01/21/2010)
* WASHINGTON (1/22/10)--President Barack Obama Thursday proposed a plan that would limit the size and scope of financial institutions (The New York Times Jan. 22). The changes would prevent bank holding companies from owning, investing, or sponsoring hedge fund or private equity funds and from participating in proprietary trading--which Obama called the Volcker rule, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. The former chairman champions the restriction, the newspaper said. Obama also seeks to limit consolidation in the financial industry by curbing the growth of the market share of liabilities at the nation’s biggest firms. The banking industry and Republicans said they oppose the proposed changes. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said the Republicans already proposed a plan last July to end the bailouts and restore market discipline. Obama said he expected opposition, and noted, “If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have” ... * WASHINGTON (1/22/10)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) announced that it plans to open a temporary satellite office in Chicago to manage receiverships and liquidate assets from failed financial institutions primarily located in Midwestern states. The office will provide facilities for up to 500 non-permanent staff and contractors. FDIC uses temporary satellite offices to keep temporary asset resolution staff closer to the concentration of failed bank assets they oversee. As work diminishes, the offices close. Similar offices operate in Irvine, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla. ... * WASHINGTON (1/22/10)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) may decide not to use ratings agencies when it sets insurance premiums for large banks, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said at a conference Wednesday (American Banker Jan. 21). The FDIC has used debt ratings and other risk factors to calculate premiums, but scrutiny over the performance of private ratings agencies has surfaced recently, causing the agency to re-think its process. The FDIC may do its own analysis, Bair added ...


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