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Inside Washington (04/27/2010)
* WASHINGTON (4/28/10)--Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Monday pressed for tougher limits on financial institutions’ abilities to participate in proprietary trading. Levin said the issue should be included in Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd’s (D-Conn.) regulatory reform bill. Levin said an investigation of Goldman Sachs Group proved the firm bet against the mortgage market even when it encouraged clients to invest in it--indicating why stricter rules are needed. Goldman’s risky trading has been viewed by financial observers as a contributing factor in the housing market’s troubles (American Banker April 27) ... * WASHINGTON (4/28/10)--The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform should focus on putting the nation on a path to fiscal sustainability, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech to the commission Tuesday. One criterion for sustainability should be to stabilize the ratio of federal debt held by the public to national income. This can be achieved by bringing spending, excluding interest payments, in line with revenues, he said. “Most projections suggest that we are far from this goal, and that without significant changes to current policy, the ratio of federal debt to national income will continue to rise sharply.” Congress, the Obama administration, and Americans will have to choose among making modifications to entitlement programs such as Medicare or Social Security, restraining federal spending on everything else, accepting higher taxes or some combination thereof, he added. Click to read the full text of Bernanke’s speech ...


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