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Inside Washington (01/29/2010)
* WASHINGTON (2/1/10)--Senators told American Banker (Jan. 29) that they are split on whether President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech helped or harmed regulatory reform efforts. Obama commended the House for passing a reform bill last year but said bank lobbyists are working to squelch it. “We cannot let them win this fight,” Obama said. He noted that he would veto any final bill that does not equal “real reform.” During his speech, he also spoke about his proposal to tax big banks and limit their growth. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said Obama’s proposal makes reform more difficult because increasing taxes was not part of reform. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who said he does not support taxing big banks because many have repaid their bailout money. He added that lawmakers are working in good faith on reform, though nothing has developed yet. Obama did not touch on other topics of interest to the financial industry such as preventing foreclosures and the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency ... * WASHINGTON (2/1/10)--Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he would like to see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac become privatized (American Banker Jan. 29). But, doing so would “take a lot of money,” he said. The Obama administration is expected to release a proposal for the enterprises in its 2011 budget. The budget is scheduled to be released today. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken into conservatorship in 2008 and lawmakers have speculated about their futures for some time ...


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