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Washington
Inside Washington (09/03/2009)
* WASHINGTON (9/4/09)--A hearing on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) handling of the Bernie Madoff fraud case has been scheduled for Sept. 10, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) announced Wednesday. The hearing will discuss a report released by an SEC inspector general Wednesday (American Banker Sept. 3). Dodd’s committee plans to use the report to learn what went wrong in the SEC’s oversight of the Madoff case, he said ... * WASHINGTON (9/4/09)--Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sent a letter this week to their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), saying they object to several parts of a July 2 interim rule that requires them to submit all activities and products to FHFA for review (American Banker Sept. 3). The rule is ineffective and burdensome, the enterprises said. The rule also makes it difficult for the enterprises to help during a financial crisis. The letter signals one of the first times the enterprises have publicly contacted their regulator about an issue. Both were placed into conservatorship by FHFA last year ... * WASHINGTON (9/4/09)--Members of the Federal Reserve Board’s policymaking open market committee were split on whether to purchase mortgage-backed securities associated with adjustable-rate mortgages, according to minutes released this week from the Aug. 11-12 committee meeting. Some participants said the securities would be useful because they could reduce the large spreads between the adjustable-rate mortgages and yields on similar-duration Treasury securities. Others saw little benefit, given the small stock and limited issuance on fixed-rate mortgages. The committee also discussed reducing the pace at which the Fed buys Treasury securities, agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities before the end of the asset purchase programs. Slowing the pace of the purchases could promote a smooth transition in markets, participants said. However, no decisions were made on purchasing mortgage-backed securities or tapering the pace at which the Fed buys Treasury securities ...


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