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Jun 21, 2010

U.S. House agrees to put consumer watchdog in Fed

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve, which
was criticized for failing to protect consumers in the run-up
to the credit crisis, would be the home of a new financial
consumer watchdog under an agreement announced on Monday.

U.S. House of Representatives Democrats said they have
agreed to go along with a Senate proposal to put the watchdog
inside the Fed, backing down from their earlier support for
setting up a powerful new stand-alone agency.

Jun 21, 2010

Consumer watchdog fight leads Wall St reform talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A dispute over how much power to give a new financial consumer watchdog will be the first issue dealt with by U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday as they enter the home stretch on historic Wall Street reforms.

A joint Senate-House of Representatives panel aims to complete final legislation by Thursday, but meeting that goal may be hard with unresolved issues piling up and the most controversial proposals facing the panel yet to come.

Jun 18, 2010

“Volcker rule” seen freezing M&A by U.S. mega-banks

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The “Volcker rule” provision of Wall Street reform legislation being finalized by Congress would put a lid on domestic mergers and acquisitions by the largest U.S. banks, analysts said on Thursday.

Further U.S. growth through M&A would be blocked for Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, said Barclays Capital analysts.

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.