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Inside Washington (07/18/2008)
* WASHINGTON (7/21/08)--Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) officials are defending the way they handled the IndyMac crisis, though they have acknowledged they were not prepared for it (American Banker July 18). The agency has blamed extensive television coverage of the crisis for scaring consumers into thinking they would not have access to their money. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the agency is monitoring the crisis, and doesn’t forsee a liquidity crisis because of it. Calif. State Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.) said he thought the FDIC did a satisfactory job handling the crisis, although he said FDIC officials could have done better. James Barth, Auburn University finance professor, said the FDIC has not adequately explained deposit insurance to bank customers. Bert Ely, an Alexandria, Va.-based banking consultant, said the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and the FDIC didn’t understand IndyMac’s problems quickly enough. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), has been blamed for triggering the panic by sending a letter to the OTS about IndyMac’s condition, but Ely said the bank failure could have happened regardless ...


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