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Sep 26, 2014

Secret tapes of Fed meetings on Goldman prompt call for U.S. hearings

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An influential U.S. senator wants to hold hearings into “disturbing” issues raised by secretly taped conversations between Federal Reserve supervisors and officials at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a bank the Fed was tasked with policing.

Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, on Friday called for hearings after portions of the recordings from 2011 and 2012 were made public. Fellow Democrat Sherrod Brown, also a committee member, called for a “full and thorough investigation” into the allegations they raised.

Sep 25, 2014

US Bank to pay $57 million over ‘add-on’ products

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. financial regulators said on Thursday that US Bank will pay about $57 million to resolve allegations it charged consumers for services they did not actually receive.

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said the bank, a unit of US Bancorp, would pay a total of $9 million in fines and about $48 million in restitution to harmed borrowers.

Sep 23, 2014

U.S. Ex-Im Bank supporters eye early push for long-term renewal

WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Backers of the U.S.
Export-Import Bank may push again for a long-term extension of
its charter as early as November after a nine-month renewal left
the bank’s future undecided.

Congress last week extended the export credit agency’s
mandate through June 2015, the middle ground between
conservative critics’ bid to close Ex-Im and supporters’ calls
for a multi-year or even permanent extension.

Sep 19, 2014

U.S. Senate Democrats propose exit tax for inverting companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Senate Democrats want to force U.S. companies to pay an exit tax on any profits held overseas if the companies decide to reincorporate abroad to cut their tax bills, the latest in a slew of proposals to stem such “inversion” deals.

Senators Sherrod Brown and Dick Durbin on Friday released details of a bill that would require foreign earnings that have not been repatriated, or brought into the United States, to be taxed as income at the point when a U.S. company inverts.

Sep 18, 2014

U.S.House to extend terrorism insurance backstop with reforms -lawmaker

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – A U.S. Republican lawmaker
on Thursday told bankers that Congress would extend a federal
terrorism risk insurance backstop created after the 2001
attacks, but conservatives would insist that the private sector
shoulder more of the burden.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly in July to extend the
program, which expires at the end of the year, by another seven
years. The program is used by big businesses, owners of sports
stadiums and other groups that insure against terrorist attacks.

Sep 17, 2014

U.S. consumer bureau proposes scrutiny of non-bank auto lenders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. consumer watchdog on Wednesday announced plans to scrutinize big non-bank auto finance companies for the first time, citing concerns about how the lenders market car loans and collect on debts.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau already oversees banks that issue car loans and has raised concerns about their lending practices, such as potential discriminatory pricing that has harmed minority borrowers.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. House passes bill adjusting Dodd-Frank treatment of insurers

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives voted on Tuesday to ease capital requirements
for big insurance companies, an adjustment to the 2010
Dodd-Frank financial oversight law that enjoys bipartisan
support but faces procedural hurdles in the Senate.

The bill would provide relief to big insurers that
regulators deem “systemically” risky, or so big their failure
could destabilize markets.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. Congress could link inversion plan, tax breaks: lawmaker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate’s top Democratic tax-writer said on Tuesday he is considering linking legislation to curb foreign corporate buyout deals known as inversions with separate efforts to renew expired tax breaks that businesses want extended.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who leads the tax-writing Finance Committee, said several lawmakers told him they want to pair inversion legislation with the so-called tax extenders package to be dealt with when lawmakers return to Washington after the November midterm elections.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. Congress pushes ahead with bid to arm Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives began debating legislation on Tuesday to authorize President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State militants, and lawmakers said the measure would likely pass the full Congress by the end of this week.

House Republican leaders unveiled the authorization on Monday as an amendment to a stopgap funding bill Congress must pass this month, after Obama asked lawmakers to approve the training as part of his broader plan to stop the Sunni militants who have taken over swaths of Syria and Iraq.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. Congress poised to approve aid to moderate Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress appeared poised on Tuesday to quickly approve President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a major part of the effort he announced this week to fight Islamic State militants.

The House of Representatives began debating an amendment to a stopgap funding bill that would authorize support for the moderate rebels, who are fighting both the Islamic State and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.