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Inside Washington (05/18/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (5/21/12)--Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. inspector general Jon Rymer will temporarily run the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) inspector general office while the SEC seeks a permanent successor for H. David Kotz, its former IG, American Banker (May 18) reported Friday. Rymer is expected to oversee the IG responsibilities at both agencies concurrently until a permanent SEC watchdog is found, a source said. Kotz left the SEC in January after allegations of misconduct by the office surfaced. Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) requested more information on the allegations. "The recent turmoil at the SEC inspector general's office raises questions about how well that office is functioning," Grassley said in a statement. "Information from all sides is necessary to try to establish where things went wrong and what the agency can do to refocus its watchdog capacity" …
  • WASHINGTON (5/21/12)--The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday requested JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to testify under oath about the $2 billion trading loss his company suffered last week. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) announced that Dimon would be called to testify during two hearings the committee will hold with key financial regulators to address Wall Street reform. "Our due diligence has made it clear that the Banking Committee should hear directly from JPMorgan Chase's CEO Jamie Dimon, and following our two Wall Street reform oversight hearings I plan to invite him to testify," Johnson said in a statement …
  • WASHINGTON (5/21/12)--Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Friday sent a letter to regulators calling on them to close the "JPMorgan Loophole." Although the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits banks from proprietary trading, the regulators' proposed rule creates a new loophole that could allow proprietary trading to continue even after the law goes into effect. The loophole would likely allow Wall Street banks to continue proprietary trading by calling it "portfolio hedging" even after the Volcker Rule is finally implemented, Merkley and Levin wrote. The letter was sent to the heads of the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. "So long as banks have the incentives to make these types of bets and are permitted to do so, they will," Merkley and Levin wrote. "As we have learned time and time again, establishing clear, strong rules of the road is critical for the healthy functioning of markets and our economy" …
  • WASHINGTON (5/21/12)--The Senate confirmed Jeremy Stein and Jerome Powell to the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors Thursday after their nominations were delayed for months by Republicans who argued Stein and Powell would be too supportive of Chairman Ben Bernanke's economic policies. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) used last week's news of JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion trading loss to compel the Senate to move forward with the vote and secure the required 60 votes (American Banker May 18). With the confirmations of Stein and Powell, for the first time in six years the Federal Reserve board is at  full capacity. "Jay Powell and Jeremy Stein are ready to get to work, and I'm glad that my Senate colleagues set party politics aside and approved these individuals with strong bipartisan support," said Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Senate Banking Committee chairman …


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