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Inside Washington (04/14/2008)
* WASHINGTON (4/15/08)--The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision plans to focus on capital requirements and managing liquidity risk in its proposals this year, according to a report released Friday by the Financial Stability Forum. The committee plans to issue proposals this year that will raise Basel II capital requirements for certain complex structured credit products, introduce additional capital charges for default and event risk in the trading books of banks and securities firms, and strengthen the capital treatment of liquidity facilities to off-balance sheet conduits. The committee also plans to issue supervisory guidance by July for managing liquidity risks. Basel II went into effect April 1 but none of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks are required to adopt the rule yet (News Now Feb. 5) ... * WASHINGTON (4/15/08)-- Disclosure practices can be improved, but not through disclosure requirement changes, said a report released Friday by U.S. and foreign bank regulators (American Banker April 14). Rather, individual firms can make changes at their discretion. The regulators analyzed disclosures of 20 international financial firms, including Citigroup, Bear Stearns Co., Wachovia Corp., Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase and Co. The report was conducted by the Federal Bank of New York, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Board and regulators from the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Germany ... * WASHINGTON (4/15/08)--Credit cards used by government agencies are being abused, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last month. From July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006, the GAO estimated, 41% of the transactions failed to meet basic internal control standards. Breakdowns such as authorization and independent receipt and acceptance resulted in fraudulent, improper and abusive purchases, the agency said. Cardholders had used the cards to purchase Internet dating services, video iPods for personal use and “lavish dinners.” The GAO also was unable to locate 458 items of the 1,058 pilferable items totaling more than $2.7 million that it selected for testing ... * WASHINGTON (4/15/08)--A rule change in the Farm Credit System could re-ignite a banker battle after regulators Thursday approved giving more flexibility to a rule that has prevented lenders “from retaining processors as customers” (American Banker April 14). Banking industry representatives argue that the rule deviates from the system’s mission of farm lending and could remove banks from lending to rural ethanol plants. The rule could take effect next month, and banks are asking their trade groups to study whether it abandons the lenders’ mission. The rule applies to agricultural marketing firms and was proposed in October 2006 by the Farm Credit Administration ...


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