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Inside Washington (09/25/2009)
* WASHINGTON (9/28/09)--Credit quality significantly declined for loan commitments of $20 million or more held by multiple federally supervised financial institutions, according to the 2009 Shared National Credit (SNC) Review. Nonbanks held 47% of classified assets in the portfolio. Criticized assets--those seen as substandard--reached $642 billion, up from $373 billion last year. Classified assets increased to $447 billion from $163 billion. Special mention assets--those that exhibit potential weakness--declined to $195 billion from $210 billion. The severity of criticism increased with the volume of Shared National Credits classified as “doubtful” and “loss rising” to $110 billion, up from $8 billion in 2008 ... * WASHINGTON (9/28/09)--At a hearing last week, lawmakers urged the Treasury to let the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) expire at year-end, but the Obama administration did not appear to give in. Treasury can extend TARP until Oct. 3, 2010. Several lawmakers said the economy has improved, so the program should end. Some Americans think TARP is becoming status quo, which leads to more government involvement in the marketplace, said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said TARP can’t be permanent, but did not indicate if the program should be extended. Conversely, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told reporters Wednesday that TARP should be extended. Several banks have repaid their capital infusions from TARP back to the Treasury and the Treasury department expects more to be repaid within the next year and a half ... * WASHINGTON (9/28/09)--Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill Thursday to enact parts of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act more quickly. The credit card industry has balked at the idea. Some of the CARD Act’s provisions gone into effect, with other provisions to be effective Feb. 22. Maloney and Frank’s bill would push that date to Dec. 1. Maloney and Frank criticized credit card issuers at a press conference Thursday for claiming that they needed until next spring to prepare for CARD Act rules. Card issuers are using the time to maximize profits by raising rates to make money off of consumers before the new rules are effective, the two legislators said. Frank and other policymakers have discussed moving ahead with the CARD Act compliance date. Frank said he thought the House could pass a bill on the matter within the next few weeks ... * WASHINGTON (9/28/09)--Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, insurance, and government sponsored enterprises, announced that he will conduct a hearing to examine reforming the regulation of credit rating agencies. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. ET ...


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