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Inside Washington (09/22/2008)
* WASHINGTON (9/23/08)--The House Financial Services Committee has set a Sept. 24 hearing to bring U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Jr. and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke before the panel to discuss the Bush administration’s capital markets intervention proposal. The hearing is entitled “The Future of Financial Services: Exploring Solutions for the Market Crisis.” The following day, the committee has scheduled an oversight hearing to examine earlier action by the Treasury to place the housing government-sponsored enterprises into conservatorship. On Friday, the House Judiciary subcommittee on commercial and administrative law will hold a hearing on whether Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and the 2005 amendments to the Code respond to the financial distress that today's businesses face. And of interest on the Senate side, the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled today to look at "Turmoil in U.S. Credit Markets: Recent Actions Regarding Investment Banks and Other Financial Institutions." Paulson, Bernanke, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, and Federal Housing Financial Agency Director James Lockhart are expected to testify… * WASHINGTON (9/23/08)--Ameribank Inc. was closed Friday by the Office of Thrift Supervision. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) was named receiver. Ameribank has five branches in West Virginia and three branches in Ohio. Pioneer Community Bank, Iaeger, W. Va., will assume deposits for the five branches in West Virginia. The Citizens Savings Bank, Martins Ferry, Ohio, will assume all deposits for the three branches in Ohio. West Virginia branches re-opened Monday; Ohio branches re-opened Saturday. As of June 30, Ameribank had $114 million in assets and $102 million in deposits ... * WASHINGTON (9/23/08)--Democratic lawmakers are seeking to add provisions to the Treasury Department’s proposal to create a government entity that would purchase banks’ illiquid assets. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) warned against adding too much to the proposal, stating that it would “not be a Christmas tree.” Changes relating to the entity’s operation likely will be added to the proposal, observers said (American Banker Sept. 22). Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced the plan Friday, saying that it would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions or dollars. The plan is needed to stabilize the deteriorating housing market, he said ... * WASHINGTON (9/23/08)--The presidential candidates responded differently to news of the Treasury Department’s proposal to solve the mortgage market crisis by creating a new entity to purchase illiquid bank assets. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that he would create an entity to seek out troubled companies in the financial sector and help them become healthy, but he did not provide specifics (American Banker Sept. 22). Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) chose to delay releasing his own financial plan, saying that he needed to study the administration’s plan first and that a solution could not be proposed in one day. The Treasury’s proposal will be significant for both McCain and Obama, because one will have to deal with the plan, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics ...


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