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Inside Washington (02/23/2009)
* WASHINGTON (2/24/09)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Vice Chairman Rodney E. Hood's third annual NCUA Risk Mitigation Summit was Thursday at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. "I take risk management very seriously and believe that risks should be managed, not avoided. Implemented successfully, enterprise risk management enables management to effectively deal with uncertainty and associated risks," Hood said. Owen Cole, director of the NCUA Office of Capital Markets and Planning, and John Kutchey, acting director of NCUA's Office of Examination and Insurance, explained the agency's Corporate Stabilization Program and answered questions. Robert D. Manning, director of the Center for Consumer Financial Services, Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Filene Research Institute fellow, discussed his responsible debt relief (RDR) algorithm report, saying it "gives credit unions the opportunity to recalibrate and get their members on an even keel during this extraordinarily difficult recessionary period." Richard Dorfman, president/CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, noted that credit unions represent Federal Home Loan Banks' fastest-growing segment. "Study yourselves," he said, "because you will be called upon by regulators and others who want to know 'how did you do that.'" … * WASHINGTON (2/24/09)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU will conduct a 'mini town hall' meeting today during the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. The corporate will meet at 2:30 p.m. EST at the Grand Hyatt in the Latrobe Room. The corporate said credit unions are welcome to attend (Life is a Highway Feb. 23) … * WASHINGTON (2/24/09)--In a joint statement Monday, a group of federal regulators pledged to launch a revised program that would shore up struggling banks and include the option of increasing government ownership in a bank. The plan is in line with the Obama administration's plan to strengthen banks without nationalizing them (Associated Press Feb. 23). The Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Reserve issued the statement as more concerns surfaced about some of the nation's largest banks needing more assistance. The new program, which begins Wednesday, would give regulators the option to allow the government to boost its ownership in banks without having to inject more taxpayer funds into them. Still, the regulators suggested keeping banks private as a priority … * WASHINGTON (2/24/09)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says that government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowed to let homeowners in trouble with mortgage payments to refinance their loans without requiring they obtain new mortgage insurance policies. James Lockhart, FHFA director, said that under the GSEs' charter, a borrower need not obtain an additional credit enhancement on a refinanced loan in excess of what is already in place for that loan. Generally, the GSEs' charters require them to obtain credit enhancement for loans they buy or guarantee that are worth more than 80% of a home's value. The Obama administration's housing plan calls for Fannie and Freddie to allow refinancing by four million to five million borrowers whose loans they guarantee (American Banker Feb. 23) … * WASHINGTON (2/24/09)--Citigroup has proposed to regulators that the federal government could expand its ownership of the bank to as much as 40% of the struggling bank's common stock. However, bank officials hope the government's stake would be more like 25% (American Banker Feb. 23). Any deal would increase federal officials' influence over one of the world's largest financial institutions. Currently the government has $45 billion in preferred shares, or about a 7.8% stake, obtained when it injected capital into the troubled bank. The government's preferred shares would be converted into common stock. The bank's officials hope to persuade private investors to follow the government's lead and convert their preferred shares into common stock, said people familiar with the negotiations … * WASHINGTON (2/24/09)--The Federal Reserve Board Monday launched a new section on its website to expand information about the policy tools it has employed to address the financial crisis. The new section also simplifies access to that information, said the Fed in a press release. The section, "Credit and Liquidity Programs and the Balance Sheet," has a detailed explanation of the Fed's balance sheet; descriptions of its liquidity and credit facilities; a discussion of its risk-management practices; information on the types and amounts of collateral being pledged at various lending facilities; and links to congressional reports and other resources …


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