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Washington

CUNA-D.C. closed for Inauguration Day

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WASHINGTON (1/20/09)—The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Washington, D.C. office is closed today due to Inauguration Day events happening in the nation's capital. CUNA's Washington office address at 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW places it directly on the inaugural parade route and within an established security zone. The Secret Service has asked downtown Washington employers to limit operations today, so CUNA's office is officially closed.

House Minority Leader joins GAC program

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WASHINGTON (1/20/09)--House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will address participants of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2009 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Also slated for that day is the ranking Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama. Boehner and Bachus join a growing list of key speakers, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who heads the panel's subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit, and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). Watch CUNA’s News Now for upcoming announcements of additional speakers from Capitol Hill. Use the resource link below for more program highlights and registration information.

Inside Washington (01/19/2009)

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* WASHINGTON (1/20/09)--At a confirmation hearing Thursday, nominees for the Federal Reserve Board and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said reform of the financial regulatory system is a top priority (American Banker Jan. 15). Regulation should focus on monitoring the system for risks at any institution--not just ones that access the Fed’s lending facilities--and focus on improving capital cushions, said Daniel Tarullo, Fed governor nominee. Tarullo, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, said policymakers need to restructure the system so it can recognize and number potential sources of stress. Mary Schapiro, SEC chairman nominee, said the federal government should oversee insurance companies and regulate systemic risk, and hedge funds should disclose their activities. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), expressed concerns that the Fed has not yet created an exit strategy. Tarullo responded that while opinions differ on how the Fed should exit the private sector, the market may determine how it can actually “pull back” ... * WASHINGTON (1/20/09)--Systemic risk will remain, even if policymakers shrink the scope and size of large institutions, former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul Volcker said at a press conference Thursday (American Banker Jan. 16). The conference released a report on global financial regulation by the Group of 30, in which Volcker is involved. He signaled support for efforts to reduce Citigroup’s scope. Larger institutions “will have to come under closer surveillance than in the past,” Volcker told CNBC Thursday. “We do recommend they should not undertake some of the risker capital market functions they have in the past.” The central bank must play a more formal role in financial stability, he said. The report supported Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s suggestion to turn Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into private companies and criticized fair-value accounting. Accounting principles should be more realistic to deal with distressed markets, the report said ... * WASHINGTON (1/20/09)--President-elect Barack Obama will commit $50 billion to $100 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to address the foreclosure crisis, according to a letter Lawrence Summers, director-designate of the National Economic Council, sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Thursday. “We will implement smart, aggressive policies to reduce the number of preventable foreclosures by helping to reduce mortgage payments for economically stressed but responsible homeowners, while also reforming our bankruptcy laws and strengthening existing housing initiatives like Hope for Homeowners,” the letter said. Banks receiving support under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act will have to implement mortgage foreclosure mitigation programs. The council also plans to require the Treasury to provide data on banks that receive investments ...

CUNA launches Corporate CU task force

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WASHINGTON (1/20/09)—A new task force on corporate credit union issues has been established by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in recognition of the significance of the corporate network and challenges posed the current economic climate. The Corporate CU Task Force reflects CUNA's ongoing discussion and consideration of corporate credit union issues. The task force’s efforts will supplement CUNA’s review by focusing on specific issues, including capital, function and overall structure of the corporate network. CUNA Chairman Tom Dorety Friday announced Terry West as the chairman of the new group. West is CEO of Vystar CU in Jacksonville, Fla.. Dorety is CEO of Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla. The task force will gather in Washington, D.C. in late January to hear from representative stakeholders. Other members of the task force include Dave Rhamy, CEO of Silver State Schools CU, Las Vegas, Nev., Frank Michael, CEO of Allied CU, Stockton, Calif.; Jane Watkins, CEO of Virginia CU, Inc., Richmond; Dale Dalbey, CEO of Mutual Savings CU, Hoover, Ala.; Bob Allen, CEO of Teachers FCU, Farmingville, N.Y.; and Tom Gaines, CEO of the Tennessee Credit Union League, Chattanooga, Tenn. Kris Mecham, chairman of CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee and CEO of Deseret First FCU, Salt Lake City, Utah, will also be involved as an ex-officio member. The panel is expected to develop its recommendations within the next several weeks.