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2012 CUNA GAC kicks off today

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WASHINGTON (3/19/12)--The 2012 edition of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), which will give over 4,000 credit union representatives from across the country access to high profile government speakers and information on the latest credit union issues, officially kicks off today.

CUNA CEO Bill Cheney will welcome attendees to the conference today, and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz, journalistic duo Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are also scheduled to speak.

CUNA will also hold its 78th Annual General Meeting, the association's yearly business meeting, on Monday.

GAC speakers include House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), House Majority Whip and House Financial Services Committee member Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Ron Woodall (R-Ga.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are also scheduled to speak.

The GAC's Tuesday program will feature political discussion from pundit Charlie Cook and remarks from NCUA Board Member Gigi Hyland, and breakout sessions on credit union advocacy, examination issues, the 2012 economic forecast, the upcoming 2012 elections, and what the CFPB means to credit unions.

Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) will also discuss the relevance of legislative advocacy at the state level at a Tuesday breakout session discussion entitled: From the State House to Capitol Hill--The Critical Nature of State Advocacy. Ron McDaniel, president/CEO of Glendale-based California CU, will moderate the discussion.

Many of the legislators listed above, and NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel, will speak on Wednesday before credit union representatives Hike the Hill and discuss credit union issues with all 534 congressional offices.

The weather in Washington is expected to be warmer than usual, with highs in the 70s expected for much of the week. And while Washington's annual Cherry Blossom Festival will officially start well after the GAC has concluded, the cherry blossom trees around the tidal basin were expected to begin blooming Sunday, when the GAC is in full swing.

The 2012 GAC will be at the Washington Convention Center, its fifth year there since the conference outgrew its long-time locale at the Hilton Washington.

Use the resource link below for more GAC information.

CUNA blog offers instant coverage of GAC

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WASHINGTON (3/19/12)--The freshest news and notes from the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), and up-to-the-minute coverage of key GAC speakers and sessions, will be available on its GAC news blog, CUNA NewsWire.

Readers can access NewsWire via a linking button on News Now's headlines page. More than 4,000 credit union representatives are in town for CUNA's premier conference featuring addresses by top policymakers, and more.

CUNA Editorial Communications Vice President Lisa McCue, Web Assistant Editor Ron Jooss, and Communications Specialist Darryl Tait will provide the latest news from GAC sessions, including key breakout sessions. For full coverage, read CUNA's daily online news service News Now, keep up with NewsWire, and follow News Now's twitter feed, NewsNowLiveWire. CUNA News Now, and others, will be using the hashtag #CUNAGAC12 on their tweets. 

Find all these news resources on the News Now headlines page at Use the resource link below to access the GAC Blog.

Also, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions is presenting video reports during the GAC through Thursday. Use the link to access those reports. And CUBE TV, the official video portal of the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, will provide a daily wrap-up of highlights and visits with Michigan's congressional delegation.

Inside Washington (03/16/2012)

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  • WASHINGTON (3/19/12)--UnionBanCal Corp., a subsidiary of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, agreed to buy Pacific Capital--one of the banks the Treasury Department invested in through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)--for $1.5 billion in cash last week. The Treasury invested $180 million in Pacific Capital in 2008, and would get about $165 million in exchange for its 11% stake if the deal is finalized (American Banker March 16). That equates to about a 90 cents on the dollar return on the Treasury's TARP investment. In 2010, the Treasury agreed to take its stake in preferred shares, which it converted to common equity at a 63% discount as a condition of a $500 million recapitalization plan. In agreeing to discounts on recapitalizations and acquisitions, Treasury attempted to avoid more bank failures, the Banker said. As of January, 13 banks that received TARP funds had failed, squandering $600 million of investments, according to a report to Congress from the TARP special inspector general …
  • WASHINGTON (3/19/12)--Fannie Mae has issued new guidelines that prohibit servicers from billing the government-sponsored enterprise for the cost of administering force-placed insurance programs or paying themselves commissions (American Banker March 16). "Fannie Mae is clarifying its requirement for reasonable reimbursable expenses for lender-placed insurance, the guidelines said. "Any servicer request for reimbursement of lender-placed insurance premiums must exclude: any lender-placed insurance commission earned on that policy by the servicer or any related entity, costs associated with insurance tracking or administration, or any other costs beyond the actual cost of the lender-placed insurance policy premium." Fannie previously said it will request proposals from major force-placed insurers to directly provide their insurance to Fannie. The two developments indicate that Fannie will no longer bear some of the costs traditionally associated with force-placed insurance …
  • WASHINGTON (3/19/12)--Senate Democrats pressed their case for the use of principal write-downs for troubled homeowners during a hearing of the Senate housing subcommittee Thursday. Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said while private-sector firms use principal reduction in some cases, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has refused to do so (American Banker March 16). Last month FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco told the Senate Banking Committee that the agency believes principal reduction would be more costly to U.S. taxpayers than principal forbearance. Private banks are taking principal reductions on about 20% of their own portfolio loans, are finding it more profitable than other types of mortgage modifications, Menendez said …