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Inside Washington (06/24/2011)
*WASHINGTON (6/27/11)--The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and several other independent agencies, (American Banker June 24). The bill includes $19.9 billion in funding for the agencies, which is nearly $2 billion--or 9%--below last year’s level, nearly $6 billion below the President’s fiscal year 2012 request, and more than $700 million below the pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels enacted in 2008. The bill also would cap mandatory funds for the CFPB at $200 million--the limit is $600 million--and subject it to the annual appropriations process beginning in 2013. The Dodd-Frank Act prescribes that the bureau receive a percentage of the Federal Reserve budget and is not subject to the appropriations process … *WASHINGTON (6/27/11)--In letters to federal regulators, several banks expressed concern about a requirement that they submit resolution plans outlining how to unwind them in a crisis. One concern is how firms may be penalized if regulators do not like their plans. Under the Dodd-Frank law, the agencies can take remedial action if the living wills, as the resolution plans are known, are deemed inadequate (American Banker June 24). The requirement could potentially mandate significant restrictions on the activities and operations of financial services firms, David T. Hirschmann, president for the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a June 10 letter. The living wills are required under the Dodd Frank Act to give the federal government authority to seize and wind down institutions deemed too systemic to be resolved through bankruptcy. The proposal, drafted jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve Board, would apply to firms with more than $50 billion in assets … *WASHINGTON (6/27/11)--Small businesses won a record $97.95 billion in federal contracts, or 22.7% of eligible contracting dollars in fiscal 2010, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Friday. The increase marks the largest single year jump in more than five years, and is a significant improvement over fiscal 2009, when 21.9% of contracting dollars were awarded to small businesses, SBA said. Performance in four out of five of the small business prime contracting categories showed improvement, with increases in contract dollars and also in performance against statutory goals. “When the federal government gets contracts into the hands of small businesses, it is a ‘win-win’ situation: small businesses have the opportunity to grow and create jobs and the federal government gets access to some of the most innovative and nimble entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills.


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