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Inside Washington (09/02/2010)
* WASHINGTON (9/3/10)--Regulators should be ready to shut down large financial institutions that threaten the financial system, said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. He testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission this week. Bailing out the risky institutions is not a healthy solution, he said. The regulatory reform law empowers regulators to shut down the firms whose collapse would bring down the system. Too-big-to-fail institutions were a source of the financial crisis and impeded policymakers’ efforts to contain it, Bernanke said (The Associated Press and Reuters Sept. 2). Bernanke also noted that legally, he could not have saved Lehman Brothers, which collapsed in 2008. Commission Chairman Phil Angelides had questioned whether politics were involved in the Fed’s decision not to bail out Lehman, but the Fed has said it had no authority to rescue the firm. Lehman did not have the capital to borrow enough to prevent collapse ... * WASHINGTON (9/3/10)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Wednesday reminded financial institutions of concerns and anti-money laundering guidance regarding informal value transfer systems (IVTS). Although FinCEN issued guidance in 2003 on money services businesses, the agency also warned that the systems have been used to fund terrorism (American Banker Sept. 2). IVTSs operate in the U.S. and interact with other financial institutions to store currency, remit and receive funds and clear checks. They must register with FinCEN ... * WASHINGTON (9/3/10)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has extended the application period by 30 days for a pilot program that will evaluate the feasibility of insured depository institutions offering low-cost transactional and savings accounts for the underserved. The extension responds to several institutions that indicated more time is needed to evaluate their programs. The new deadline is Oct. 15. Institutions will be notified of their selection by Oct. 29. The program was announced Aug. 10 ...

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