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Inside Washington (03/10/2011)
* WASHINGTON (3/11/11)--While at the Credit Union National
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Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference last week, the Louisiana Credit Union League arranged a special opportunity for Louisiana attendees. On Tuesday, the state’s credit unions took part in the Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery (Louisiana Credit Union League eNews March 10). Escorted by a military guard, four individuals representing Louisiana credit unions presented a wreath at the tomb as a bugler played “Taps.” Presenting the wreath were: Al Oar, Barksdale FCU, Bossier City, representing the Air Force; Cortez Bridges, Bossier FCU, Bossier City, Army; Rhonda Hotard, Louisiana FCU, Laplace, Navy; and Richard Pelloquin, CSE FCU, Lake Charles, Navy. More than 90 Louisiana credit union professionals and volunteers attended the GAC. On Wednesday, Louisiana credit unions spoke with one voice while visiting with their congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. They visited with: Sen. David Vitter (R), Rep. Steve Scalise (R), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D), Rep. John Fleming (R), Rep. Bill Cassidy (R), and Rep. Charles W. Boustany (R). Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D) and Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) sent staff representatives. During the visits, attendees addressed key issues and stressed the credit union difference. They emphasized the importance of raising the member business lending cap and the positive impact it would have on small businesses and employment. A recent CUNA study found that lifting the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25% limit would provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs at no cost to taxpayers … * WASHINGTON (3/11/11)--Agricultural lending is thriving in an otherwise sluggish lending environment, and regulators are wary. Thursday the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) hosted a half-day symposium to discuss issues associated with escalating farmland values during the previous decade. “Farmland values have doubled on average in the past 10 years, and continue to rise in an environment of ample liquidity and low interest rates,” FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair said in announcing the symposium. “While we see strong fundamentals in the farm sector at present, the sector remains vulnerable to a reversal of market conditions or a rise in interest rates.” The FDIC also issued a financial institution letter in December on prudent management of agricultural credit through farming and economic cycles. During the symposium, the FDIC explored whether the growth represents an asset bubble similar to the residential real estate and booms, or a reordering of asset prices that reflect long-term economic changes … * WASHINGTON (3/11/11)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board will propose a new resolution rule during its board meeting Tuesday (American Banker March 10). The Dodd-Frank Act granted the FDIC authority to unwind large companies that would jolt the financial system if they went bankrupt. The board will not consider requirements for lenders that retain pieces of securitized loans. In January, the agency clarified how it will treat certain creditor claims under the authority provided by Dodd-Frank. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting did not include the risk retention rule. As outlined in Dodd-Frank, several regulators are required to collaborate on the risk-retention rule. The process has been delayed as regulators consider whether to include new servicing rules within the risk-retention proposal …


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