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Inside Washington (11/23/2009)
* WASHINGTON (11/24/09)--The House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations announced yesterday that it will conduct a field hearing next week on “Improving Responsible Lending to Small Businesses.” The Nov. 30 hearing will be held at Lawrence Technological University, in Southfield, Mich., and the subcommittee will hear from local business leaders, representatives of depository institutions, and government officials on the status of prudent lending to small and mid-sized businesses, while maintaining financial stability… * WASHINGTON (11/24/09)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke’s renomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee will be Dec. 3. Bernanke has been nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Fed for another four years. The Senate is expected to approve his nomination, but Bernanke likely faces tough questions (American Banker Nov. 23). Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) has said he has held “serious differences” with the Fed ... * WASHINGTON (11/24/09)--Financial regulatory reform seems to have backpedaled, according to industry observers. Last week, a House panel vote on legislation that would give the government power over systemically significant institutions was delayed until after Thanksgiving. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the delay--which was caused by a request regarding the economy fromt he Congressional Black Caucus--wouldn’t compromise the package since it wasn’t scheduled to go onto the House floor until December. Also, an amendment that could compromise the Federal Reserve Board’s independence was attached to Frank’s legislation. Frank opposed the amendment, and said he would readdress the issue. In the Senate, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) stepped back from his timetable to pass a reform bill after panel members expressed their concerns about his legislation, saying he should work on a bipartisan approach. Dodd’s bill still needs a lot of work, according to Jaret Seiberg, Washington Research Group analyst. He noted that Dodd may have to negotiate and create a “narrow” reform package (American Banker Nov. 23) ...


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