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Inside Washington (02/08/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (2/9/12)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday said that while U.S. banks are minimizing their exposure to European debt, increased problems overseas could have a negative impact here. "Risks remain that developments in Europe or elsewhere may unfold unfavorably and could worsen economic prospects here at home," Bernanke said in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee (American Banker Feb. 8). About 58% of U.S. banks tightened exposure to European firms and their subsidiaries in the fourth quarter, according to the Fed's most recent Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. European banks also have begun rebalancing their balance sheets, creating an increase in demand for U.S. banks. The Fed has kept an eye on the quality of the hedges that domestic banks are making to protect themselves from the European debt crisis, Bernanke said …
  • WASHINGTON (2/9/12)--President Barack Obama's nomination of a Republican to the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) could pave the way for the Senate confirmation of other nominees, including leadership roles within Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, according to observers. The GOP is widely believed to be intent on blocking any nominations because of the president's controversial recess appointment Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (American Banker Feb. 8). But Obama's nomination of Jeremiah Norton, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive and former Treasury official in the Bush administration, to the fifth FDIC board seat, could open the doors for some deal making, observers said …


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