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Jun 18, 2010

Swaps plan seen staying in Wall Street reform bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A sweeping overhaul of U.S. financial regulations will include a controversial plan to insulate banks from risky swap dealing, aides said on Thursday as lawmakers hammered out a final bill.

With final negotiations on the reform bill bogged down amid partisan bickering, Democrats who control the process neared consensus on an element that has drawn furious opposition from the Wall Street banks that could lose billions in profits.

Jun 18, 2010

White House moves to weaken shareholder rights – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House intervened to weaken a provision in the final financial regulation bill that aims to give shareholders more say on how companies are governed, three people familiar with matter said on Thursday.

A select group of lawmakers are merging the Senate’s reform bill with the House of Representatives’ version.

Jun 17, 2010

White House intervenes on shareholder rights

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – The White House intervened
to weaken a provision in the final financial regulation bill
that aims to give shareholders more say on how companies are
governed, three people familiar with matter said on Thursday.

A select group of lawmakers are merging the Senate’s reform
bill with the House of Representatives’ version.

Jun 17, 2010

Deal seen to keep Lincoln swaps plan in bank bill

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – Final Wall Street reform
legislation will include a controversial plan from Senator
Blanche Lincoln to insulate banks from risky swap dealing, but
only after it is further “clarified,” aides said on Thursday.

A deal is being worked out, with terms still under
negotiation by lawmakers and the Obama administration, said
congressional aides and someone close to the talks.

Jun 17, 2010

U.S. Congress Dems shoring up Lincoln swaps plan

WASHINGTON, June 16 (Reuters) – Democrats were working on
Wednesday to bolster a plan that would force big banks to spin
off their swap dealing desks, with backers of Senator Blanche
Lincoln’s controversial proposal aiming to push forward.

In the face of opposition from Wall Street, the Senate
Banking Committee was seeking to tighten Federal Reserve rules
to address concerns some lawmakers have about isolating swap
dealing units from the banks that spin them off, an aide said.

Jun 16, 2010

Fed could escape toughest scrutiny in Wall St bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After heavy criticism of its handling of the financial crisis, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday appeared likely to escape the most aggressive congressional scrutiny of its interest rate deliberations.

Lawmakers finalizing a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations have indicated they may back away from a measure that would subject the U.S. central bank’s monetary policy to scrutiny. They could also abandon a plan to make one of its top officials a political appointee.

Jun 15, 2010

US banks face hard slog on Volcker rule fund curb

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) – Banks are pressing the U.S.
Congress for exemptions to a part of the proposed Volcker rule
under Wall Street reform legislation that would curtail their
ties to private equity and hedge funds, but the banks’
prospects were dimming on Tuesday.

Representative Barney Frank said opposition to exemptions
lodged by White House economic adviser Paul Volcker, author of
the proposed rule, will be pivotal as a Senate-House conference
panel considers the historic legislation.

Jun 15, 2010

Credit raters could catch a break in Wall St bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Embattled credit-rating agencies like Moody’s Corp and Standard & Poor’s could catch a break on Tuesday when U.S. lawmakers sit down to craft a final rewrite of financial regulations.

The legislation as it stands would effectively upend the entire industry’s business model, but lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives could strip that provision as they begin resolving differences between their two Wall Street reform bills.

Jun 15, 2010

Congress nears deal on bank trading crackdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Banks looked increasingly likely to face some limits on swap trading as a proposal to rein in risky business practices gained traction among lawmakers negotiating a landmark Wall Street reform bill.

A revised proposal from Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln was floated on Monday to allow banks to keep parts of their lucrative over-the-counter derivatives operations, a bid to mollify critics who had opposed a wide ban.

Jun 14, 2010

US House Dems target Senate’s credit ratings panel

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) – U.S. House Democrats on
Monday moved to kill a Senate plan to shake up the credit
rating agency business, a key part of a landmark Wall Street
reform bill that will be debated on Tuesday.

Setting up potential fireworks at the second meeting of a
Senate-House panel drafting the bill, Representative Barney
Frank proposed dropping the Senate’s plan to create a new
government panel to deal with credit rating agencies.