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Dec 18, 2014

U.S. regulators seek information on asset managers’ risks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. financial risk council on Thursday requested information on asset managers’ key risks as part of an attempt to determine whether the industry poses a threat to markets.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who chairs the Financial Stability Oversight Council, said regulators want information about asset managers’ liquidity, leverage, and how they could be resolved if they were to fail.

Dec 18, 2014

Fed eyes audit push as key political challenge in 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is lobbying to stem a rising threat to its independence as the “Audit the Fed” movement, once seen as usual background noise, looks set to gain momentum in 2015 when Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress.

Interviews with current and former Fed staff, lawmakers and lobbyists show that the central bank, led by Chair Janet Yellen, is taking the audit threat seriously. Fed officials are making their case for independence across Capitol Hill, reminding politicians of the damage that can come from political interference into economic policy discussions.

Dec 17, 2014

U.S. Bank, Bank of America sued over mortgage securities

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. credit union
regulator said on Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against U.S. Bank
and Bank of America over mortgage securities
sold in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said the
banks broke state and federal laws by failing their duties as
trustees for 99 residential mortgage-backed securities trusts.

Dec 17, 2014

U.S. terrorism insurance bill killed by objections in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill to extend an expiring federal terrorism insurance program effectively died on Tuesday when the U.S. Senate failed to reach an agreement to hold a vote before Congress wraps up its business for the year.

The program, created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that provides a federal insurance backstop for owners of skyscrapers, sports stadiums and other large projects that could face terrorism threats, will likely lapse at year-end.

Dec 17, 2014

Top Democrat says regional banks key to Wall Street win on derivatives

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday said unpopular Wall Street banks got a long-sought rollback to Dodd-Frank reforms through Congress last week partly by leveraging the influence of smaller banks that hold greater sway with lawmakers.

“They have been working for a long time, trying different strategies on it,” California Representative Maxine Waters said in an interview. “The big banks are in trouble with most legislators… so they put the regional banks in front of them in order to gain more support.”

Dec 12, 2014

Wall St scores a win in Washington, eyes more victories

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Five years after President
Barack Obama slammed Wall Street “fat cat” bankers, some of the
nation’s biggest banks this week successfully lobbied Congress
to roll back a hotly debated provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank
financial reform law.

The question is whether bankers can keep up their winning

The early view is that Wall Street, insurers, and companies
that deal in complex financial instruments will secure targeted
victories in 2015, especially with Republicans in control of the

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. lobbyists predict more Dodd-Frank changes, not overhaul, in 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. financial industry victories this week walking back post-crisis reforms will embolden Republicans in 2015 to push for more changes, but lobbyists say they are not holding out hope for a substantial rollback of the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives included revisions to Dodd-Frank in a $1.1 trillion federal government spending package and legislation extending a popular terrorism insurance program.

Dec 11, 2014

U.S. senator slams House insurance bill over Dodd-Frank changes

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator
Charles Schumer on Thursday called for the U.S. House of
Representatives to extend a federal terrorism insurance program
by passing a “clean” bill with no controversial extra

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that
would give the program six more years. The measure would also
adjust a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street oversight
law, which many Senate Democrats oppose.

Dec 11, 2014

U.S. House tweaks Dodd-Frank capital rules for insurers

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill giving big
insurance companies such as American International Group Inc
and Prudential Financial Inc relief from part of
the 2010 Dodd-Frank oversight law.

Lawmakers agreed to give the U.S. Federal Reserve more
authority to tailor the capital requirements it places on big
insurers. The U.S. Senate approved the change in June, and it
now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Dec 10, 2014

House passes six-year extension of terrorism insurance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to extend a federal terrorism insurance program that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, overcoming criticism from Democrats of a provision that would retool part of 2010 Wall Street reforms.

The program is intended to support insurers by creating a federal backstop that kicks in if they lose a certain amount of money after an attack. It has never been triggered.