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Inside Washington (04/17/2008)
* WASHINGTON (4/18/08)--The gap between Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) on how to fix the housing market has widened (American Banker April 17). Shelby questioned the Senate Banking Committe chairman’s plan at a Wednesday hearing, saying it would do nothing more than aid “reckless lenders” and help “undeserving borrowers.” He said--and Dodd agreed--that the committee needs to find the cause of the mortgage market problems. But Dodd urged the committee to make foreclosure prevention a top priority. Shelby has argued that the government should not step in to help the housing market, and that the market will have to correct itself. Dodd has said he wants to get his bill through the Senate by Memorial Day. No more hearings have been scheduled for it ... * WASHINGTON (4/18/08)--Banks aren’t moving quickly enough on their losses--especially those involving commercial real estate credits, said Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan (American Banker April 17). He said bankers should reward loan officers for letting management know about problems early. Dugan noted his agency would encourage banks to refresh their appraisals and give managers a “reasonable” amount of time for review. Regulatory expectations must be clearly communicated--banks can’t be expected to deal with problems that have been downplayed, he said ... * WASHINGTON (4/18/08)--Policymakers failed to settle on a compromise for tightening regulation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a meeting Tuesday (American Banker April 17). Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said reform is important, but foreclosures are a priority. Dodd met with Henry Paulson, Treasury secretary; David Nason, Treasury assistant secretary for financial institutions; Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala).; Daniel Mudd, Fannie Mae CEO; Richard Syron, Freddie Mac CEO; and Robert Steel, undersecretary for domestic finance ...


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