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Inside Washington (12/16/2008)
* WASHINGTON (12/17/08)--Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) applauded a recent move by Fannie Mae to help tenants stay in their foreclosed homes if the tenants can pay the rent (American Banker Dec. 16). The policy will go into effect before a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expires Jan. 9. The decision will bring relief to renters in the “wrong place at the wrong time,” Dodd said ... * WASHINGTON (12/17/08)--House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pushing the Bush administration to help homeowners by not releasing more money to the Treasury Department’s bailout effort (The Washington Post Dec. 16). The administration has ignored the bailout’s intent to stop foreclosures, Pelosi said. She also has asked Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, to work on legislation that requires the provisions of the law to be followed before more funds are released. Frank also supports using the bailout money to help homeowners. So far, the Treasury has spent $335 billion of the $700 billion program.... * WASHINGTON (12/17/08)--Mark-to-market accounting rules’ application could be refined after Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox rejected a reversal of the rules (American Banker Dec. 16). Changes for the application include: allowing greater flexibility in valuing assets without buyers, slow the impact of fair-value accounting on regulatory capital and smaller write downs on assets that are distressed. Some bankers want the rules scrapped because they believe the rules have caused some institutions to fail. In a speech last week, Cox signaled that the agency would retain mark-to-market accounting, but said the application needs to be clearer. Industry representatives hope there will be changes to make the standard more flexible when accountants write assets down to fair value ...


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