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Inside Washington (09/24/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (9/25/12)--A task force formed by President Barack Obama to investigate illicit mortgage practices that contributed to the financial crisis will soon take legal action, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday. Schneiderman, a co-chair of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, said his office would take action and he expected his federal counterparts on the task force to do the same (American Banker Sept. 25). The task force was formed in January to probe the pooling and sale of risky mortgages in the runup to the 2008 financial crisis. It includes the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Internal Revenue Service …
  • WASHINGTON (9/25/12)--The House Ethics Committee is expected Friday to clear Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) of ethics violations, paving the way for her to serve as the chief Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee next year. Waters faced accusations of improperly helping minority-owned OneUnited Bank secure Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, even though her husband had a financial interest in the bank (American Banker Sept. 25). Politico later published a story that questioned whether the panel's investigation had been compromised. The committee's former staff director alleged that two committee lawyers secretly communicated with Republican members of the panel. A final vote was expected as early as Monday. Waters would succeed retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as the lead Democrat on the committee …
  • WASHINGTON (9/25/12)--Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan unveiled a seven-page white paper on Friday laying out their plans to improve the U.S. housing market. The Romney-Ryan plan said it will completely end "too-big-to-fail" by reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, the plan does not provide details on how the government-sponsored enterprises would be wound down. "A Romney-Ryan Administration will protect taxpayers from additional risk in the future by reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and provide a long-term, sustainable solution for the future of housing finance reform in our country," the paper said. The paper also discusses "responsibly" selling 200,000 government-owned homes, getting rid of Dodd-Frank, improving the job market, and making foreclosures easier …
  • WASHINGTON (9/25/12)--Federal banking regulatory agencies on Monday announced the availability of a regulatory capital estimation tool to help community banking organizations and other interested parties evaluate recently published regulatory capital proposals. The tool will assist the organizations in estimating the potential effects on their capital ratios of the agencies' Basel III Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) and Standardized Approach NPR. In June, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved joint proposals for comment that would revise their current regulatory capital standards. The public comment period for these proposals ends Oct. 22. The Basel III NPR focuses primarily on strengthening the level of regulatory capital requirements and improving the quality of capital. The Standardized Approach NPR proposes a number of enhancements to the risk sensitivity of the agencies' capital standards. The tool is intended to help institutions estimate the potential effect the proposals could have on their capital ratios …


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