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Inside Washington (04/12/2010)
* WASHINGTON (4/13/10)--The Federal Reserve Board Monday announced that William B. English will become the agency's director of the Division of Monetary Affairs, effective July 23. English has served as deputy director of the division since February 2008. He is to succeed Brian F. Madigan, who has been appointed senior adviser to the Fed board, effective upon English's promotion. Madigan plans to retire later this year after more than 30 years of service with the board, including three years as head of this division. As director, English will advise the Fed chairman and other board members, as well as the Federal Open Market Committee, on the conduct of monetary policy, including open market operations and the discount window ... * WASHINGTON (4/13/10)--Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations announced hearings this week on the causes of the country’s financial crisis. On Tuesday, the Senate panel will zero in on mortgage lending as it was executed by the failed Washington Mutual. The committee will then broaden its sights and scrutinize the actions of bank regulators. Levin said he wants to use the hearing process to compile a record of the causes of the meltdown, and hoped that information would be used to inform the current legislative debate involving financial regulatory reform (American Banker April 12) … * WASHINGTON (4/13/10)--Some critics of federal lawmakers’ ongoing efforts to reform financial regulations charge those efforts are dodging some very central issues. They say the current Senate bill, about 1300 pages awaiting a vote, ignores too many factors that contributed to the country’s financial crisis, such as inefficient and outdated regulations, an out-of-whack housing finance market, as well as faulty underwriting standards that allowed waves of borrowers to sign up for mortgages they ultimately could not afford. While others argue the bill is complete with many provisions that would have a positive effect on the financial marketplace by providing greater and broader oversight and transparency, and providing better tools to handle the resolution of systemically significant firms, even some of those admit some holes. For instance, while it was the housing and mortgage markets that brought about the economic collapse, the housing finance system is largely ignored in the bill (American Banker April 12) … * WASHINGTON (4/13/10)--The old model for government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) took a beating last week at a hearing conducted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (American Banker April 12). The hearing featured Fannie Mae’s former executives and regulators and painted a picture of a company embracing unnecessary risks while chasing profits and striving to preserve market share. To add to the negative picture, it seems all this was being done while the GSE was vigorously lobbying lawmakers not to bolster what is now seen by many as a weak and ineffective regulator …


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