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Inside Washington (04/04/2011)
* WASHINGTON (4/5/11)--The National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) multi-media initiative to educate consumers about the safety of money deposited in federally insured credit unions has touched more than 150 million consumers, including 60 million television viewers, the agency said on Monday. In six months, the “NCUA-Safe” public education effort has exceeded $6 million in free publicity, according to NCUA. In October, the agency kicked off a campaign to remind the public that NCUA does for federally insured credit unions what the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. does for banks: insure consumers’ savings up to $250,000 per individual depositor. The “NCUA-Safe” campaign features Suze Orman, a personal finance expert millions of Americans rely on for advice. The campaign’s free 30- and 60-second television and radio public service announcements (PSA), plus indoor and outdoor posters touting the safety of NCUA credit union insurance protection, have generated an estimated $4.3 million in free publicity through April 1. In addition to PSAs featured on television, cable, radio and out-of-home outlets, the campaign has generated more than $1.7 million in exposure from other outreach efforts, including news releases and radio media tours. The campaign included a free PSA that appeared twice each hour on an electronic billboard in New York City’s Times Square between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day … * WASHINGTON (4/5/11)--Banks may be required to contribute billions of dollars into a fund that would pay homeowners to settle ownership disputes that emerge during foreclosure proceedings over documentation issues, Sheila Bair, the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday (The Hill April 4). Blair said the creation of such a fund becomes more likely as banks struggle with foreclosure documentation problems resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis. Blair said mismanaged paperwork could lead to lawsuits. To discourage litigation, Bair suggested banks should kick in to a fund, which would pay for disputes related to paperwork irregularities … * WASHINGTON (4/5/11)--The Federal Reserve allowed big banks to convert more than $118 billion worth of junk bonds, defaulted debt, securities of unknown ratings and stocks into cash during the recent financial crisis, according to documents released Thursday (American Banker April 4). Low-rated collateral accounted for 72% of the $164.3 billion in market-rate securities pledged to the Fed on Sept. 29, 2008, documents indicated. The assets exceeded the loan value by 5.49%, according to the Fed data. Equities accounted for $71.7 billion, or 43.6% of the total. High-yield debt, including the defaulted issues, was $18.4 billion, or 11.2%. Collateral of unknown rating made up $28 billion, or 17%. The Fed allowed borrowers to use $929 million in market-valued debt that had gone into default as collateral, exceeding the $905.5 million in Treasuries pledged, the Fed said …


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