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Inside Washington (08/21/2008)
* WASHINGTON (8/22/08)--The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has outlined its concerns regarding a proposal to reform credit card practices in a letter to the Federal Reserve Board. The proposal would limit credit for consumers and could weaken thrifts and banks, OCC said. (American Banker Aug. 21). It also could pose litigation risks to the credit card industry, wrote Comptroller John Dugan. In May, the Fed, Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration released the proposal, which would ban double-cycle billing and define deceptive credit card practices. Dugan suggested that the Fed prevent deceptive practices, rather than define them, by placing the proposal under the Truth-in-Lending Act. That way, more entities would be covered by the rule ... * WASHINGTON (8/22/08)--Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s move to reassure investors on Wall Street could backfire, analysts say. Last month, Paulson asked Congress for a government rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac he didn’t intend to use. However, his request is creating uncertainty among investors and could trigger a bailout, according to investors (Bloomberg.com Aug. 21). Stock in Fannie Mae has dropped since the law was passed. This week, the enterprise’s shares dropped 28% while Freddie’s fell 38%. Had Paulson not made a request for the rescue, Freddie Mac’s bond sale Monday may have been a total failure, said William Poole, former Reserve Bank of St. Louis president ...


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