Financial Regulatory Forum

SCENARIOS – Reshaping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to lay out the Obama administration’s broad vision for restructuring mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday in congressional testimony.

Geithner has said that any specific legislative proposals will not come until 2011 at the earliest. His testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday is expected to be the first step in a long journey to make changes to the existing housing finance system.

The government seized Fannie and Freddie at the height of the financial crisis, in what at the time was said to be a temporary measure to ensure credit remained available for homebuyers.

Last fall, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said that move will likely muddy efforts to restructure the two companies, which own or guarantee about half of U.S. residential mortgages.

The GAO said the two government-sponsored enterprises have a mixed record in meeting their mission to foster affordable housing, and that both capital and risk management deficiencies had compromised their safety and soundness.

US lawmakers urged to drop clearinghouse ownership cap

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) holds a news conference on issues before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 3, 2009.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst   By Jonathan Spicer
NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) – NYSE Euronext, LCH.Clearnet, BATS Global Markets and other firms partnered with banks have urged two U.S. legislators to drop a proposed “rigid” cap on dealer ownership of clearinghouses, according to a letter sent this week.

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Sleeper deposit-insurance cost for big U.S. banks gaining steam

A California National Bank branch employee posts notices that the bank has been taken over, near the bank's ATM machine in suburban Los Angeles October 30, 2009. U.S. authorities seized nine failed banks, including Los Angeles-based California National Bank, that day, the most in a single day since the financial crisis began and the latest stark sign that substantial parts of the nation's banking industry are being crippled by bad loans. REUTERS/Fred Prouser   By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – As the biggest U.S. banks clamor to defeat Congressional measures that could break up their firms or slap a big tax on their transactions, another costly proposal is quietly gaining steam.

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U.S. House Democrats sharpening ‘too big to fail’ plan

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) holds a news conference on issues before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 3, 2009.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS) By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – A key U.S. congressional panel moved toward toughening a plan for dealing with “too big to fail” financial firms on Tuesday, while rejecting a Republican alternative backed by Wall Street.

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US Rep. Frank seeks changes in derivatives bill

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, listens to a reporter's question during the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington, April 28, 2009.     WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee is seeking changes to draft legislation for the $450 trillion privately-traded derivatives markets, with the intent of making it harder for banks to avoid trading the contracts on exchanges.

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Big-bank containment strategy catches on in US, EU

By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – The government should be able to restrict the size of financial firms so they do not become “too big to fail,” two key U.S. Democratic lawmakers said on Tuesday, echoing proposals being made in Europe.

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US lawmaker favors curbing size of financial firms

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (Reuters) – The government should have the authority to break up or reconstruct financial firms before they become “too big to fail,” a prominent U.S. lawmaker said on Tuesday.

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U.S. financial reform faces Republican challenges

By Kevin Drawbaugh and Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Key U.S. senators are still deeply divided on basic financial regulation reforms, making it unlikely a bill expected soon from Senate Democrats could become law this year, analysts said on Monday.

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Credit rating agency bill backed by US House panel

By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Credit rating agencies, which have been widely blamed for failing to spot problems that helped trigger the global financial crisis, would be more tightly regulated under legislation approved on Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

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US congressional panel backs new rules for hedge funds, short of White House aims

By Kevin Drawbaugh and Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators would be able to peer into the secretive world of hedge funds and private equity funds under a bill passed by a key congressional committee on Tuesday.
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