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Inside Washington (02/15/2010)
* WASHINGTON (2/16/10)--The Obama administration will soon be challenged to fill key financial regulatory positions, according to American Banker. In August, leadership roles will be open at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC may be the highest priority on the administration’s list because it oversees the biggest, most systemically significant banks. Another priority will be filling the top role at the FHFA (American Banker Feb. 15). The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--which FHFA regulates--is not certain. Edward DeMarco, who took over FHFA temporarily starting in August, said in a letter to top lawmakers that it’s Congress’ and the Obama administration’s job to figure out what to do with the enterprises. Also, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair’s term will expire in June 2011. Bair, a Republican, has made allies in both political parties, and it’s not certain who will succeed her, Banker said ... * WASHINGTON (2/16/10)--Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), top negotiator on legislation to revamp financial regulation, said he is considering taking away the Federal Reserve Board’s oversight powers. During an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” Corker said he does not support President Barack Obama’s proposed consumer protection action (Bloomberg Feb. 15). He also said he would not back the president’s call for mandatory limits on banks’ sizes and trading. Corker said he could be nearing an agreement with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) on bank failure resolution processes. He hopes to bring other Republicans to support reform legislation, but many of them, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) oppose Obama’s reform proposals ...


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