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Jan 24, 2014

U.S. senators slam study on systemic risks posed by asset managers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five U.S. senators slammed a government report that raised red flags about risks posed by asset management firms in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that was dated Thursday.

The bipartisan group said the September study mischaracterized the asset management industry and in some places relied on faulty information, and that the report could threaten the credibility of the Treasury Department unit that published it.

Jan 23, 2014

U.S. banks and retailers trade barbs over data breaches

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Community banks from across the United States and some of the country’s biggest retailers are at each other’s throats over whose job it is to protect consumers from the kind of cyber attacks suffered last month by Target and Neiman Marcus.

The National Retail Federation delivered a shot on Tuesday, saying in a letter to U.S. lawmakers that its bank “partners” had failed to adopt new technology and instead continued to issue “fraud-prone” magnetic stripe credit and debit cards.

Jan 21, 2014

Analysis: Fannie, Freddie profits give little reason to shut them down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A drive to enact legislation to dismantle Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has stalled after the government-run companies chalked up a string of quarterly profits and groups banking on their survival rallied to their cause.

President Barack Obama and lawmakers from both parties have said they want to wind down the two mortgage finance giants, which own or guarantee 60 percent of all U.S. home loans.

Jan 21, 2014

Fannie, Freddie profits give little reason to shut them down

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A drive to enact legislation
to dismantle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has
stalled after the government-run companies chalked up a string
of quarterly profits and groups banking on their survival
rallied to their cause.

President Barack Obama and lawmakers from both parties have
said they want to wind down the two mortgage finance giants,
which own or guarantee 60 percent of all U.S. home loans.

Jan 16, 2014

What is your risk appetite? regulator asks U.S. banks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Big U.S. national banks would have to report their risk appetites and boost oversight by their boards under new rules proposed by a U.S. bank regulator on Thursday to help avoid a repeat of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued the guidelines as part of its “heightened expectations” program for the biggest U.S. banks.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. regulators tweak Volcker rule for some securities

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five U.S. bank regulatory agencies on Tuesday approved a tweak to the Volcker rule that would allow banks to keep interests in certain funds backed by trust-preferred securities.

The change was aimed at easing the concerns of small banks that they needed to dump certain investments they thought would be allowed under the rule, losing money in the process.

Jan 14, 2014

Fed considers new limits on banks in physical commodity trade

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal
Reserve on Tuesday took a first formal step toward restricting
the role of Wall Street banks in physical commodities markets,
seeking feedback on ways to limit the “catastrophic” risks of
dealing with oil tanks or power plants.

In a 6-0 vote, the Fed board agreed to publish a preliminary
notice laying out its concerns and potential remedies, following
months of growing public and political pressure to check banks’
decade-long expansion into the raw materials supply chain.

Jan 13, 2014

U.S. Fed set to push ahead on new commodity trade rules

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal
Reserve is set to take its first formal step toward limiting the
role of Wall Street banks in physical commodities markets this
week by issuing a notice to seek public comment on the topic,
sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The Fed will publish an “advance notice of proposed
rulemaking” on Tuesday, laying out the issues it is considering,
one day before a second Senate banking committee hearing on the
matter, the sources said.

Jan 9, 2014

Analysis: Housing experts warn of hiccups as new U.S. mortgage rules go live

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. banks and housing groups are bracing for paperwork headaches and delays as major post-crisis mortgage reforms take effect later this week, but experts say prior warnings of a blow to the housing recovery will not be proven right.

On Friday, lenders must be prepared to verify that borrowers can repay their home loans, under rules written by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street oversight law.

Dec 22, 2013

Insight: U.S. early warning system for financial crises gets low marks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In June 2009, a small group of academics sent an envoy to a Washington, D.C., think tank to pitch their vision for a research office to help the nation avoid the next financial crisis.

The idea was to create a premier U.S. data powerhouse that would be a National Weather Service for financial storms, with up-to-the-minute information on transactions and the analytical juice to anticipate where systemic risks were quietly growing.