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Inside Washington (02/24/2009)
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WASHINGTON (2/25/09)--The Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP) signed an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference Tuesday. The agreement calls for the NLCUP to assist with tax education and outreach on emerging or changing tax laws and issues. During tax season, all NLCUP member credit unions will provide information, education and services in Spanish about tax compliance. The initiative aims to help low- to moderate-income people and families to meet their tax obligation and enhance their money management skills. Front row from left are: Ana Marie Argilagos, senior consultant Annie E Casey Foundation; Winona Nava, CEO of Guadalupe CU and chair, CUNA Hispanic Advisory Board; Carlos Calderon, CEO of OAS Staff FCU and chair of NLCUP; Crystal Philcox, IRS SPEC Area 3 director; and Pablo DeFilippi, director of membership, National Federation of Community Development CUs and NLCUP Board Member. (Photo provided by the National Federation of Community Development CUs) … * WASHINGTON (2/25/09)--The House is expected to take up this week mortgage bankruptcy reform to decrease foreclosures and boost bank liquidity. Legislation by John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, would enable bankruptcy judges to cram down mortgage debt and restructure terms on loans to prevent foreclosures. Government-insured mortgages, such as those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, would be permitted to cover a lender's loss when mortgage debt is crammed down. The measure also would make permanent the increase in deposit insurance coverage to $250,000 per account. The Senate has not scheduled a vote yet (American Banker Feb. 24) … * WASHINGTON (2/25/09)--Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to hold off on implementing compensation rules he wrote for the economic stimulus package signed into law Feb. 17. The Treasury Department has one year to write regulations that would restrict the pay of executives at banking companies that accept government bailout funds. However, in a Feb. 20 letter to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, Sen. Dodd asked SEC to wait until guidance is issued before enforcing the measure. The provision requires that banking companies' CEO and chief financial officer provide written certification that they have complied with the law (American Banker Feb. 24) … * WASHINGTON (2/25/09)-- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair said all large U.S. banks currently are well-capitalized, but prolonged shocks to the banking system may mean more banks would require additional capital from the government. She said it would be surprising to see government take active ownership and control of large banks. Bair noted that this week's stress tests will determine whether banks have adequate capital. If they don't, the Treasury would make additional stock purchases to increase the capital buffer, she added. She made the comments during an interview on CBS's "Early Show." (American Banker Feb. 24) … * WASHINGTON (2/25/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is supposed to discuss Friday changes to its premium assessment system and set premium rates for the remainder of 2009 (American Banker Feb. 24). Board members are expected to to propose higher premiums for banks that rely heavily on brokered funding or secured liabilities such as advances from Federal Home Loan Banks. FDIC set its first-quarter rates in at between 12 cents and 14 cents per $100 of domestic deposits for healthy institutions. In October, the agency proposed a range of 10 to 14 basis points for subsequent quarters. The plan also includes an additional premium--as high as seven scents--for banks with excess noncore funding. And it includes credits for banks taking steps to reduce FDIC's resolution costs in case of failure … * WASHINGTON (2/25/09)--New York financier Steven Rattner will be the lead advisor on the auto industry bailout for Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers. Rattner, 56, will advise the officials on the reorganization efforts of General Motors and Chrysler, which are receiving government bailout funds. He was considered a front runner for the position of car czar in the Obama administration, but that position was eliminated.(The New York Times Feb. 24) …


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