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Jan 7, 2015

U.S. House votes to renew terrorism insurance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to reauthorize a federal terrorism insurance program sought by insurers and owners of sports stadiums and shopping malls, after lawmakers let it expire at the end of 2014.

Lawmakers were unable to agree last year on a plan to extend the program, which was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The House bill would give the program six more years.

Jan 7, 2015

Republican-led House to vote on diluting financial regulations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives expects to vote Wednesday on legislation retooling a series of financial regulations, an early sign that Republican leaders will attack President Barack Obama’s Wall Street reforms this year.

Scaling back reforms including the so-called Volcker rule on banks is a top Republican priority as stated on the website of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.

Jan 6, 2015

Obama taps community banker Allan Landon for Fed board

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Tuesday nominated former community banker Allan Landon to a seat
on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s board, responding to calls for a
greater voice for Main Street in the central bank’s

Landon, a partner at private investment fund Community
BanCapital, was chief executive of the Bank of Hawaii
from 2004 until 2010. Previously, he had worked as the bank’s
chief financial officer and as CFO at First American in

Jan 6, 2015

Obama to nominate community banker Allan Landon for Fed: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama plans to nominate community banker Allan Landon for a seat on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, a source briefed by the White House said on Tuesday.

Landon, a partner with private investment fund Community BanCapital, served as chief executive officer of the Bank of Hawaii from 2004 until 2010. The source said the White House would announce the nomination later on Tuesday.

Jan 3, 2015

White House to announce nominee for Fed board, source says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will soon announce a nominee to the Federal Reserve Board, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, in a move that would begin the process of filling one of the Fed’s two empty seats in Washington.

The person said the White House will announce a nominee next week or the following week, adding that the nominee will likely have a community banking background.

Dec 19, 2014

Surprised U.S. lobbyists push quick 2015 terrorism insurance renewal

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Lobbyists for insurers, real
estate financiers and businesses launched into action this week
to urge quick renewal of a terrorism insurance program in 2015
after U.S. lawmakers left it to expire at the end of this year.

Industry officials said they were stunned when the Senate
abruptly decided on Tuesday night to leave Washington without
approving a bill to give the program six more years.

Dec 18, 2014

U.S. banks to move cautiously into Cuba, trade groups say

By Emily Stephenson and Brett Wolf

(Reuters) – U.S. banks will be able to do more business in Cuba after the United States and the island nation agreed to restore diplomatic ties, but trade groups said their members will be slow to ramp up operations, fearing big penalties for mistakes.

Under a series of policy changes announced on Wednesday, U.S. banks will find it easier to process money transfers to and from Cuban banks, and U.S. travelers can use their home credit and debit cards in the island nation.

Dec 18, 2014

MetLife says U.S. regulators declared it ‘systemically’ important

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators have declared insurer MetLife Inc so big that its failure could destabilize financial markets, a designation that brings extra regulation.

MetLife said in a statement on Thursday announcing the designation that it was disappointed by the decision, made by the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council, and was considering whether to take the regulators to court over it.

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.