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Washington
Inside Washington (07/13/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/14/09)--Congressional legislators will still oppose giving systemic oversight authority to the Federal Reserve Board, even if the Fed is found to have had no undue influence over Bank of America’s purchase of Merrill Lynch. As reported in American Banker July 13, 17 House legislators, including three Democrats, told President Barack Obama in a letter sent last Friday that his administration, the U.S. Congress, and citizens should carefully consider granting such far-reaching power to a single regulatory entity with little public accountability. Lawmakers have questioned Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s claims that he did not push Bank of America to purchase Merrill Lynch, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold hearings on this issue in the near future... * WASHINGTON (7/14/09)—The Obama administration could bring over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives onto regulated exchanges and central clearing platforms under its potential plans to standardize OTC contracts. Speaking on Friday, Geithner told House legislators that the exact definition of standardization would change as markets changed. Though he could not give extensive details on the administration’s plan, Geithner said that the Commodity Future Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have taken extensive steps toward solving some of their jurisdictional issues. Geithner and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) both seem to be in favor of allowing businesses and banks to protect themselves from changes in currencies and interest rates through the use of customized contracts. (American Banker July 13)… * WASHINGTON (7/14/09)—Representatives from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) told American Banker that it is revising a rule that governs its visitorial powers of national banks. They July 13 issue reported that while the revision has not been completed, the OCC said it will work to apply the rule in a proper fashion after the U.S. Supreme Court last month criticized the OCC’s rule and ruled that individual states could use the court system to enforce non-preempted state laws against national banks...


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