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Inside Washington (03/22/2010)
* WASHINGTON (3/22/10)—A federal appeals court, ruling in favor of Freedom of Information Act requests by two news organizations, told the Federal Reserve Board to release documents related to individual borrowing from the discount window and other lending programs considered actions of “last resort.” In one ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals backed a lower court that granted a request by Bloomberg LP's Bloomberg News for documents related to use of the Fed's discount window and other liquidity programs. In a separate action, that court overturned a lower court ruling that had denied a request by Fox News Network LLC’s Fox Business Network for Fed documents. The Fed is reviewing the appeal court decisions (American Banker March 22)… * WASHINGTON (3/23/10)—Banks should expect tougher rules on commercial real estate (CRE) lending from the Office of the Comptroller of the Current after the head of the agency, John Dugan, said that current regulatory guidance, issued four years ago, has failed to limit banks’ concentrations in such lending. That guidance advised banks to limit CRE concentration to 300% of total capital, and concentrations in land, land development and construction loans to 100% of capital. But trouble with CRE sector has continued to be a leading cause of failures, and regulators are looking at such things as writing tougher concentration caps, increased capital requirements, minimum underwriting standards and limits on banks that use wholesale funding to finance the loans (American Banker March 22)… * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/23/10)—National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board member Michael Fryzel addressed the annual meeting of $39 million-in-assets Mid-Illini CU, Bloomington Ill., and marked the credit union’s seventieth anniversary by noting its dedication to member service, community events and financial education outreach efforts. “They are to be commended for their continued commitment to the credit union philosophy of people helping people. I am honored to be with them as they celebrate this important event,” Fryzel commented. Mid-Illini CU was founded in 1940 and serves members in Bloomington and its surrounding communities. An NCUA release noted that the credit union “has pursued a goal of lending responsibly, investing wisely, and putting member’s needs before profit.” Pictured from left to right: Tom Stewart, president Mid-Illini Credit Union, Fryzel, and Jim Isom, chairman of the board, Mid-Illini. Fryzel is a former state credit union regulator and was with the Illinois Department of Financial Institution from 1977 to 1989, heading the agency from 1982 to 1989…


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