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Jun 10, 2014

U.S. senators weigh tax ‘holiday’ to help fund highway repairs

WASHINGTON, June 10 (Reuters) – Top U.S. Senate Democrats
and Republicans on Tuesday said they were considering offering
American companies a one-time tax break if they repatriate
profits stashed abroad.

The senators anticipate the proposal would generate a
windfall in revenue that would be used to fund federal
transportation projects.

Jun 10, 2014

Audit shows 100,000 U.S. veterans face long waits for healthcare

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – More than 100,000 veterans
are experiencing waits of more than 90 days for appointments at
medical centers run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,
according to an internal audit released by the troubled agency
on Monday.

The survey revealed that a scandal over cover-ups of long
wait times at VA clinics, during which some veterans are alleged
to have died, was broader and deeper than initially thought,
prompting a new round of recriminations from lawmakers and
veterans groups.

Jun 9, 2014

VA audit finds thousands of U.S. veterans waiting for health care

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said on Monday that around 100,000 veterans are experiencing long waits for health care appointments at VA facilities, with more than half of these waiting 90 days or more.

In results of an internal audit ordered as the scandal over deadly VA wait times exploded last month, the agency said it found that schedule misreporting was widespread. Of the 731 facilities surveyed, it found that 76 percent experienced wait time reporting problems.

Jun 7, 2014

Cleveland Clinic’s Cosgrove withdraws from running to head VA

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – Toby Cosgrove, the head of
the prestigious Cleveland Clinic who the White House had
considered nominating to lead the troubled Department of
Veterans Affairs, said on Saturday he had withdrawn from
consideration for that position.

Cosgrove, 73, a Vietnam veteran and surgeon, was in the
running to replace former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who
resigned on May 30 amid a political firestorm over widespread
delays in veterans’ medical care.

Jun 4, 2014

Insight – Fed may shun global risk rules banks spent billions to meet

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve may scrap elements of international measures aimed at assessing bank health in favour of imposing its own rules, frustrating bankers who have spent billions of dollars retooling their books to meet global standards.

Fed officials are concerned that parts of a key tool that regulators have developed to measure banks’ riskiness—known as “Basel III capital rules” — are flawed and can be gamed by the companies.

Jun 4, 2014

Fed may shun global risk rules banks spent billions to meet

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve may scrap international measures aimed at assessing bank health in favor of imposing its own rules, frustrating bankers who have spent billions of dollars retooling their books to meet global standards.

Fed officials are concerned that parts of a key tool that regulators have developed to measure banks’ riskiness—known as “Basel III capital rules” — are flawed and can be gamed by the companies.

Jun 3, 2014

Senate confirms Massad as CFTC chairman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Timothy Massad as the new chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and approved two others as commissioners, filling a leadership gap at the nation’s derivatives regulator.

The Senate confirmed Massad and industry veteran Chris Giancarlo by voice vote. Earlier on Tuesday, it voted 48-46 to approve New York lawyer Sharon Bowen.

Jun 3, 2014

U.S. Senate moves toward confirming Bowen to CFTC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate cleared a procedural hurdle on Tuesday to confirming New York lawyer Sharon Bowen as a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Senators voted 50-44 to move forward with President Barack Obama’s choice of Bowen for a seat on the commission, which regulates the swaps industry. The Senate still must hold a final confirmation vote, which could come as soon as this afternoon.

Jun 2, 2014

U.S. Fed hires official to oversee AIG, Prudential

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve has
hired a former state insurance commissioner to help it oversee
non-bank financial firms that a council of regulators identified
for tougher scrutiny last year.

Thomas Sullivan, who led the Connecticut Insurance
Department from 2007 through 2010 and later worked at
PricewaterhouseCoopers, told Reuters he starts as a
senior adviser on June 9.

Jun 2, 2014

Retailers to ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear ‘swipe fee’ case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of retail merchants will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case involving Federal Reserve rules that allow banks to charge debit card “swipe fees” that retailers view as too high, an attorney for the merchants said on Monday.

“Given how extensive these fees are and how they affect virtually every transaction that takes place in the United States… it’s a serious case that the Supreme Court ought to hear,” said Doug Kantor, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington who represents the retailers.