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Inside Washington (09/08/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/9/11)--Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would repeal the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with “a streamlined regulatory framework,” according to his economic plan, which was released Wednesday. Romney said some Dodd-Frank reforms “have a place,” including greater transparency for inter-bank relationships, enhanced capital requirements, and provisions to address new forms of complex financial transactions. But Romney said Dodd-Frank is “a massive overreach of the federal government into private markets.” His plan also would modify the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which was passed in the wake of the accounting scandals of the early 2000s as part of any financial reform. The requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley were designed for large companies but impose unnecessary burdens when applied to mid-size firms, Romney said … * WASHINGTON (9/9/11)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) clarified that losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the result of misrepresentation by banks selling the securities rather than a lack of sophistication on the part of the government-sponsored enterprises in making the investments. The FHFA, Freddie and Fannie’s conservator, filed lawsuits against 17 financial institutions for the lost investments. “At the heart of the suits is FHFA’s conclusion that the actual mortgages backing many of the securities had characteristics that differed in a material way from what had been represented in securities filings. Under the securities laws at issue here, it does not matter how ‘big’ or ‘sophisticated’ a security purchaser is, the seller has a legal responsibility to accurately represent the characteristics of the loans backing the securities being sold,” the FHFA said in a statement. The agency also disputed press reports that it is seeking nearly $200 billion in damages or recoveries. “Actual recoveries will be determined based on filings by the parties, evidence and judicial findings,” the statement said … * WASHINGTON (9/9/11)--One hundred nonprofit organizations from 44 states and the District of Columbia received grants under the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act (PRIME), the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Thursday. Grants will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs to help them start, operate or grow their small businesses. Grants used to better equip community-based nonprofit organizations to provide training. “In the midst of the economic downturn the country has been experiencing, SBA’s PRIME grants are an increasingly important tool in our toolbox to help small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “With these grants to nonprofit organizations, more entrepreneurs will have access to the training and technical assistance they need to have their businesses grow, succeed, create jobs and promote stronger local economies.” PRIME grants are intended to help qualified community-based organizations provide training to small businesses with five or fewer employees and that are economically disadvantaged, and businesses owned by low-income individuals, including those who live on Indian reservations and tribal lands. The PRIME grants competition was open to all 50 states and territories, with about $7.9 million available for grants this year ...


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