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Inside Washington (02/11/2009)
* WASHINGTON (2/12/09)--A program that would create a new lending facility for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) secondary market by allowing investors to borrow money to buy securities through the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) has spurred criticism from market observers. They say the program needs to be tweaked before its implementation (American Banker Feb. 11). Market observers say that haircuts of 5% for SBA pool holders and the interest rates the Federal Reserve board plans to charge for a TALF loan are too high. Observers indicated that the Fed appears to be responsive to their concerns ... * WASHINGTON (2/12/09)--Included in the Senate’s $838 billion economic stimulus package--which was approved Tuesday--are provisions to limit executive compensation and help struggling homeowners. Under the Senate’s version of the bill, institutions using federal bailout money for bonuses would have to repay the cash portion or pay an excise tax of 35% on what is not repaid to the Treasury. Another measure in the plan would require that $50 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds be used to implement a loan modification program to stem foreclosures. The program would have to implemented within 15 days of the bill’s enactment ... * WASHINGTON (2/12/09)--The Obama administration should use part of the second half of the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to boost capital of private mortgage insurance companies so Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae can help more homebuyers, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart said at a conference this week (National Mortgage News Feb. 11). Stress on mortgage insurance companies’ capital has affected negatively the enterprises’ market share, causing it to fall about 30% in third quarter 2008, Lockhart said ... * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/12/09)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael Fryzel said he intends to restate his earlier requests to the Treasury Department to make money available to credit unions through its asset purchase program, and to ensure that rules are written to enable credit unions the ability to take advantage of any newly created aspects of the government’s reponse to the financial crisis. Fryzel also commended Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for his focus on helping banks improve their lending. “Credit unions have continued to exhibit strong loan growth, but I realize that all sectors of the financial services industry must do their part for the American consumer if the nation is to regain strong financial footing,” he said ...


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