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Inside Washington (07/30/2008)
* WASHINGTON (7/31/08)--The adequacy of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) insurance fund is being analyzed in the aftermath of the IndyMac bank failure. The failure could eliminate up to 16% of the FDIC’s $53 billion in reserves (American Banker July 30). The failures Friday of First National Bank of Nevada, Reno, and First Heritage Bank, Newport Beach, Calif., could cost the agency 24% of its assets. A typical failure costs 10% to 20%. The FDIC, which has never needed a backstop, has $30 billion in credit with the Treasury Department. Observers said another large failure could deplete the FDIC’s fund, and they expect the agency to raise its premiums to keep reserves healthy. The ratio of reserves to insured deposits was 1.19% at the end of the first quarter, and the agency predicted the ratio would drop to 1.15% after the IndyMac failure. Analysts say the ratio could drop to 1.01%, and banks could pay premiums of 10 to 15 basis points per $100 of domestic deposits ... * WASHINGTON (7/31/08)--Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spent Tuesday meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the economy. The day before, he met with a panel of economic experts, including the chairman of Citigroup Inc.’s executive committee, Robert E. Rubin (American Banker July 30). Obama asked Paulson how the department will use its new authority over the government-sponsored enterprises and if it’s prepared to tackle banking industry challenges. Obama is consulting with experts to address problems in the financial sector, and has a good sense of the issues, Rubin said. Obama’s meeting occurred the same day the White House announced that the national deficit would hit $482 billion in the next fiscal year. Prior to his meeting with regulators, the senator spent 10 days in the Middle East and Europe ... * WASHINGTON (7/31/08)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did not issue an order extending restrictions on sales in 19 stocks as expected Tuesday night. SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said Tuesday that the agency was examining economic data on the restrictions’ effect, which suggests the restrictions have prevented problems in the market. He said the agency will consider the rules as soon as it has time ... * WASHINGTON (7/31/08)--The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its size standards for small businesses in the Heating Oil and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Dealers industries and restored small business eligibility to those firms that may have exceeded their existing size standards due to higher receipts generated by rising oil prices. The SBA also finalized the December 2005 interim final rule that amended monetary-based small business size standards for inflation ... * WASHINGTON (7/31/08)--The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Wednesday that Beth Castro will be its director of community development. She will be responsible for the community affairs department’s research and publications and will manage the agency’s district community affairs officers. She will report to Barry Wides, deputy comptroller for community affairs. Castro previously worked as first vice president at Washington Mutual, where she managed Community Reinvestment Act programs and initiatives, community development outreach and homeownership preservation efforts ...


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