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Inside Washington (09/24/2008)
* WASHINGTON (9/25/08)--Senators expressed their concern over the Treasury Department’s proposed plan to buy back illiquid assets from banks (American Banker). Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said that the plan is expensive and there is no guarantee that it would work. Michael S. Barr, professor at the University of Michigan and former special assistant to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, said the plan is shifting troubled assets from institutions to taxpayers. According to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, not passing a bill would harm the credit markets. Jobs would be lost and homes would be foreclosed on, he said. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) noted the government should show the public that the proposal is not a “one-way salvation” that costs taxpayers. He referred to American International Group’s loan from the Federal Reserve, which has a 79.9% stake in the insurer ... * WASHINGTON (9/25/08)--Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox said he would like to see certain credit derivative products regulated to improve disclosure and prevent fraud--which contributed to the housing crisis (American Banker Sept. 24). Cox asked Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson if the SEC should be granted authority to regulate the products as part of the Treasury’s bailout plan, but Paulson said the issue can’t be dealt with at this time. The credit default market is too large to interrupt with a regulation, he said ... * WASHINGTON (9/25/08)--The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has opened up preliminary investigations of possible fraud involving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and American International Group (The New York Times Sept. 24). The four companies would logically come under investigation because of their recent collapses, said a government official. On Tuesday, FBI officials said the agency is investigating a total of 26 corporate fraud cases, compared with 24 a week ago ... * WASHINGTON (9/25/08)--The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Peter Schalestock as the agency’s general counsel. He now serves as chief legal adviser to SBA Acting Administrator Sandy Baruah and the agency’s senior staff on the development and implementation of SBA policies and programs. Schalestock joined SBA as deputy general counsel in March and has been acting general counsel for the last three months ...


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