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OTS Regulator Let IndyMac Falsify Financial Reports

According to a report released last week by the New York Times:http://www.nytimes.com, an independent investigator of the U.S. Treasury Department has uncovered evidence that officials from the nation’s banking supervisory body, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), helped the failing IndyMac Bancorp paper over its financial difficulties.

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HUD Terminates FHASecure

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a notice late last week, advising lenders of the termination of the Federal Housing Administration’s FHASecure program, under which FHA was able to insure refinance transactions for borrowers delinquent on their mortgages.

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FHA Audit Reveals Good and Bad

This year has proved to be one of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) best yet in terms of loan originations – during FY 2008, which officially ended for the agency on September 30, lenders originated a record $171.

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AP Study: Bailed-out Bank Execs Took in $1.6B

According to a recent study by the Associated Press:http://www.associatedpress.com, banks that are now receiving bailout money from taxpayers, awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year.

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Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate to Historic Low

The Federal Reserve yesterday slashed its benchmark federal funds rate – the overnight rate at which banks lend to each other – from 1 percent to a target range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, the lowest rate on record.

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Fed Buys Mortgage-Backed Securities From AIG

The faltering American Insurance Group Inc. (AIG) said earlier this week that it has sold its portfolio of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to a new financing entity backed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which was created in early October as part of the federal government’s bailout of the giant insurer.

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SEC Adopts New Rules for Credit Rating Agencies

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved its final rules for credit rating agency reform. The commission is calling for changes to the practices of credit ratings agencies because it says agencies’ ratings of securities that were backed by subprime mortgage loans contributed to the recent turmoil in the credit markets.

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