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Inside Washington (07/17/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/20/09)—Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) called it disgraceful that his Senate Banking Committee had to hold yet another hearing on the progress of government efforts to promote loan modifications intended to stave of mortgage foreclosure. Both Democrats and Republicans on the panel agreed. However, officials from the Departments of Treasury and Housing and Housing and Urban development reminded that the housing crisis was years in the making and the Obama loan modification program is just a few months old. Witness Herb Allison, Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, said 160,000 trial modifications have begun under its home foreclosure prevention program. (American Banker July 17)… * WASHINGTON (7/20/09)—Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was unapologetic before the House Financial Services Committee as he acknowledged his agency pushed Bank of America’s chief executive Ken Lewis to agree to a merger with Merrill Lynch—or lose his job. Paulson said he and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke were concerned that if B of A backed out of the deal, it could cause a collapse of the financial system, However, critics have questioned whether a bank chief executive's job should be used by the government to accomplish a policy goal. (American Banker July 17)…


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