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Inside Washington (11/03/2010)
* WASHINGTON (11/4/10)--Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has asked the Financial Stability Oversight Council to use clear, concise language in regulations that will implement the “Volcker Rule.” Volcker sent a letter to the council to spell out his concerns about the need to avoid ambiguity. He noted that “firmly worded prohibitions and specificity” will be needed to guide regulators as the law is put into effect. The Volcker Rule places limits on depository institutions’ proprietary trading and forbids the sponsorship of, or investment in, private-equity funds and hedge funds. The Dodd-Frank law provides some exemptions to the rule, such as allowing “market-making” activities (American Banker Nov. 3). Volcker said it is essential to clearly define “market making” because the term could potentially be used to shield “proprietary wagers on the direction of individual securities or markets” … * WASHINGTON (11/4/10)--John Taylor, president and chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, called on the federal government to intensify efforts to avert foreclosures (American Banker Nov. 3). Taylor noted in a press release that the government has power over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration, which provides the leverage necessary to decrease foreclosure activity. As a step toward reducing foreclosures, Taylor suggested the Federal Reserve Board should create incentives for banks to trim back the principal balance on loans held in mortgage-backed securities, which currently total $1.1 trillion. … * WASHINGTON (11/4/10)--Timothy Ward has been named Deputy Comptroller for Thrift Supervision, the office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Wednesday. Ward, who joined the OCC in February, spent more than 26 years at the Office of Thrift Supervision, included a stint from 2007 to 2009 when he was Deputy Director for Examinations, Supervision, and Consumer Protection. Ward will lead the planning process for the OCC’s integration of the OTS examination and supervision functions and staff. Following the July 2011 transfer date, Ward’s position will continue under a Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requirement to establish a Deputy Comptroller position dedicated to thrift supervision… * WASHINGTON (11/4/10)--Mitchell Glassman, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) official who supervises bank takeovers, plans to retire on Dec. 3, according to an FDIC announcement. Glassman, who is the director of the division of resolutions and receiverships, supervised the FDIC’s seizure of 379 depository institutions in 2009 and 2010 (American Banker Nov. 3). During the financial crisis, the division’s workforce increased from 220 employees to more than 2,000. Glassman has served the FDIC for 35 years since joining its office in Kansas City, Mo. The FDIC has named James Wigand, the division’s deputy director, to serve as acting director …


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