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Inside Washington (12/10/2009)
* WASHINGTON (12/11/09)--Lawmakers are working on a policy that could reverse two major thrift deals of 2008 if enacted (American Banker Dec. 10). Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) reform legislation includes a provision that would require regulators to consider thrift deposits when analyzing whether a merger would violate a federal ban that prevents institutions from holding more than 10% of the nation’s deposits. The measure would close a “loophole,” Frank said. Financial observers said if the provision had been enacted earlier, it would have blocked the purchases of Washington Mutual and Countrywide Financial Corp. Last year, Bank of America bought Countrywide to prevent it from failing. JPMorgan Chase and Co. bought Washington Mutual, which had failed. However, Ralph MacDonald, partner at Jones Day law firm in Atlanta, said if the reform is enacted, it may not have a large effect. There aren’t that many big thrifts to worry about, he said ... * WASHINGTON (12/11/09)--Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before the Congressional Oversight Panel about the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). During his testimony, Geithner presented a TARP exit strategy. The strategy had four elements: terminating and winding down programs that support large financial institutions; limited new investments to housing, small business, and securitization markets that facilitate consumer and small business loans; maintaining the capacity to respond to potential financial threats; and continuing to manage equity investments acquired through TARP in a commercial manner while protecting taxpayers and unwinding the investments as soon as practicable, Geithner said. He announced Wednesday that TARP would be extended to Oct. 3 ...


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