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Inside Washington (11/11/2009)
* WASHINGTON (11/12/09)--House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced that the schedule for the House of Representatives has been updated. The House is expected to be in session the week of Nov. 16, the week of Dec. 7, and the week of Dec. 14. It also could be in session on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 if needed, Hoyer said. The schedule was updated because of action on health insurance reform legislation, which has now moved to the Senate ... * WASHINGTON (11/12/09)--Federal Reserve officials have commented on the idea of creating “living wills” for financial institutions, signaling some support. Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo, during a speech before an international banking group Tuesday, said a living will has some limitations because it’s difficult to predict which parts of a financial firm will be under the largest amounts of stress during a crisis. A living will also should be used as a supervisory tool, where firms would draw up contingency plans, identify obstacles to an orderly resolution, and produce the information a supervisor would need to ensure a resolution, he said (American Banker Nov. 11). Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said living wills should account for how regulators will handle a firm when a crisis hits. The wills could serve as a “mechanism to encourage greater synchronization of supervisory policies,” he added. Discussion regarding living wills has surfaced recently among lawmakers because of a bill introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that would require companies to submit wind-down plans to the government to guide regulators in taking apart an institution without damaging the financial system (News Now Nov. 10) ... * WASHINGTON (11/12/09)--Financial industry observers are discussing the impact on the financial system of a recent order barring the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle from redeeming or repurchasing stock or paying dividends. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) considers the bank to be undercapitalized. Richard Riccobono, president of the Seattle bank, said he doesn’t think the decision will impact the rest of the system (American Banker Nov. 11). Alfred DelliBovi, president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, agreed, saying the FHFA’s order is helping the bank return to profitability. However, Brian Harris, Moody’s Investors Service analyst, said the move will cause banks to think about when they could get their stock back. Jim Vogel, head of fixed-income research at First Financial Capital Markets Corp., said the impact will be wide, because member banks will worry that they won’t be able to withdraw their stock ...

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