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Inside Washington (07/29/2011)
* WASHINGTON (8/1/11)--The Senate Banking Committee will conduct a hearing Thursday on the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Earlier this month President Barack Obama nominated Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, to be the bureau’s first director. Republicans appear intent on blocking Cordray’s confirmation unless changes are made to the structure of the bureau that Democrats oppose. “With next week’s hearing, I will begin the process of moving Cordray’s nomination forward to confirmation,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson said in a statement. “The CFPB opened its doors as an independent agency on July 21, and it is off to a strong start promoting an equitable and transparent consumer financial marketplace. However, until it has a director, the CFPB will not be able to use its full powers to protect consumers and level the playing field for community banks and credit unions.” The agency cannot regulate non-bank lenders such as payday lenders until it has a director in place … * WASHINGTON (8/1/11)--Despite improvements in their financial results, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will require continued capital injections from the Treasury Department to avoid being unwound by their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to the rating agency Fitch Inc. (American Banker July 29). The government-sponsored enterprises have been drawing on average $2 billion to $3 billion a quarter since 2010, according to analysts at Barclays Capital. Fannie and Freddie could continue operations if the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised by Tuesday. But raising the ceiling without a budget deal would leave not only Fannie and Freddie vulnerable, but also the mortgage market …

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