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Inside Washington (07/24/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (7/25/12)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency in May signed a contract with New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers to create contingency plans to avoid taking into receivership Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks (American Banker July 25). FHFA does not intend to take the companies or the banks into receivership, said agency spokeswoman Denise Dunckel, who described the planning activity as "routine" and not an indication of the condition of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Federal Home Loan Banks. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been operating under U.S. conservatorship since September 2008, when risky loans threatened the government-sponsored enterprises …
  • WASHINGTON (7/25/12)--In a conference call with reporters Monday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray touted a new form designed to make it easier for students to compare financial aid offers. The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet was designed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. The form describes scholarships and loans and lays out the total cost of attendance including tuition, fees, other expenses and options for federal aid. The form can help students understand how much debt they may have after graduation and what their monthly payment could look like. "This form, which presents a model of what all financial aid award letters should be, would provide a uniform way to inform potential students of their true college costs--before they commit to a school," Cordray said …
  • WASHINGTON (7/25/12)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, addressing the Children's Defense Fund National Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, via a prerecorded video, discussed the relationship between the education of the nation's children and the success of its economy. "When individuals are denied opportunities to reach their maximum potential, it harms not only those individuals, of course, but also the larger economy, which depends vitally on having a skilled, productive work force. As a result, we all have a stake in the essential work that you are doing for our children," the Fed chairman told the advocacy group audience. Bernanke said that programs to enrich experiences for children, especially those that also involve parents, benefit children from all backgrounds, but have the strongest influence on children from disadvantaged environments. He noted that the Fed system sponsors financial literacy and economic education programs for school-age children, with a special outreach effort for lower-income children …
  • WASHINGTON (7/25/12)--Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, addressing the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Boulder, Colo., on July 23, reiterated her concerns that the Volcker Rule needs to be strengthened to ensure it works to prohibit proprietary trading by federally insured banks and their affiliates, such as broker-dealers. She noted that she dissented when it came time for the Fed to vote for approval of the proposed implementation of the Volcker Rule. "One reason for my vote was my sense that the proposed regulation''s guard rails were insufficient. I was concerned that, as proposed, the guard rails were too broad and would allow banks to be able to go too far off the road. Further, I was concerned that the guard rails as crafted could be subject to significant abuse--abuse that would be very hard for even the best supervisors to catch," Bloom Raskin said …


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