April 19, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Banking Archive

IRS: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

Virtual currencies such as bitcoin will be taxed as property rather than currency, the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday in long-awaited guidance on online tender.

Obama Announces New Penalties on Russia as Moscow Sanctions Lawmakers

President Barack Obama ordered new sanctions Thursday on top Russian officials and supporters of the Russian government over the ďillegalĒ annexation of Crimea, while urging Russia to change course and recognize Ukraineís sovereignty.

Undoing the Influence of Rising College Costs | Commentary

The rising cost of college is unduly influencing our nationís future.

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Data Breach Response May Be Limited to Notification

In the aftermath of major hacking attacks at retail giants Target and Neiman Marcus, lawmakers have been searching for a way to move forward on data security legislation and seem to have arrived on one area of limited bipartisan consensus ó creating a federal standard requiring companies to disclose data breaches.

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Financial Industry Warily Looks to Tea Party Conservatives for Tax Support

With Democrats and Republicans offering proposals to hit the financial sector with new taxes or fees, financial executives and lobbyists say they are re-evaluating how they will direct their political cash this election cycle and where they will seek allies on and off Capitol Hill.

Investing Student Loan Profits in Borrower Education | Commentary

According to recent reports from both the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, the federal student loan program will continue to turn a profit through at least 2024. The GAO reports that federal student loans originated between 2007 and 2012 will bring in $66 billion in revenue for the federal government, while the CBO projects that student loan interest revenue will result in an additional $9 billion in profit over 10 years.

Federal Framework Needed to Expand Credit Access for Americans | Commentary

For a large swath of Americans, living paycheck to paycheck is nothing new. Accessing credit or bank loans have never been an option. This segment of the population is commonly referred to as the unbanked or underbanked. In 2009, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation started to publish surveys of unbanked and underbanked households. The data reflected what many already knew: A quarter of U.S. households were considered unbanked or underbanked.

Security Secrets Create Hurdles for Lawmakers

While lawmakers this week were looking to get to the bottom of the recent data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus and possibly craft legislation to respond to those attacks, they were faced with a stark reality from the investigations: They and the public wonít be getting solid answers anytime soon.

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Retailers Push Back on Proposed Banking Legislation Following Massive Data Security Breaches

Retailers including Target and Neiman Marcus made the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, testifying at three daysí worth of hearings with the dual mission of apologizing for recent large-scale data breaches and discouraging any new regulatory legislation.

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Conservative Groups Taper Views on Yellen Confirmation

Conservative groups that led the charge during the October fiscal fights plan to sit out the high-profile confirmation debate over Janet L. Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve.

Sandy One Year Later: How to Prepare for the Next Storm | Commentary

One year ago, Superstorm Sandy made landfall in the Northeast, causing 72 deaths from Maryland to New Hampshire, along with untold economic losses and damage to more than 650,000 homes.

Terrorism Insurance Is a Necessary Government Role | Commentary

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA, was originally enacted in 2002 in the wake of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Congress has extended it twice, concluding (correctly) that only a public-private partnership can provide the certainty and stability thatís needed to allow insurance companies to offer coverage against acts of terror.

Credit Card Swipe Fees Are a Rip-Off by Banks, Abetted by U.S. Law | Commentary

U.S. merchants who have been fighting in Congress for transparency and competition in the credit card industry are eyeing a European Union proposal that reins in the excessive swipe fees merchants bear every time a customer chooses to pay with plastic.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Is a Jobs Issue | Commentary

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, created by Congress with strong bipartisan support in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is a piece of legislation that has enabled the private insurance markets to provide an essential type of coverage that otherwise wouldnít exist. It has helped create thousands of jobs, has cost next to nothing and gives private markets incentives to take a first-loss position in the event of another terrorist strike.

Terrorism Insurance: The Time Has Passed on This Idea | Commentary

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act in 2002. I remember both well, having served as staff on the Senate Banking Committee during that time. I also remember the industry promise that TRIA would be a temporary program, not another endless piece of corporate welfare.

Lawmakers Must Not Delay Flood Insurance Reforms | Commentary

Congress took crucial steps last year to reform government-backed flood insurance by passing a law that allowed for market-based rate increases in high-risk areas. But with opponents now trying to stall these reforms, lawmakers must reaffirm their support for these badly needed rate fixes and allow them to take effect without delay.

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Summers Fight Signals Fractured Trust Between Obama, Senate Democrats

If the failed candidacy of Larry H. Summers to head the Federal Reserve is any indication, the White Houseís relationship with Senate Democrats needs a great deal of work at a crucial time for looming fiscal fights.

For Money Market Fund Reforms, the Answer Is Clear | Commentary

Before the August recess, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent U.S. financial regulators questions regarding the influence of the Financial Stability Oversight Council on the Securities and Exchange Commissionís recent rule-making proposals on money market funds. The committee acted after the SEC released a 700-page document proposing amendments to the rules governing money market funds. We believe that aspects of the SECís proposal, which will affect 56 million Americans, are a response to pressure from the FSOC.

Put Fannie, Freddie on the PATH to Property | Commentary

Recently, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill introduced by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that would liquidate mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next five years. The bill, called the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act, would restore competitiveness to the home mortgage market and return it to the private sector where it belongs by taking the government out of the business.

Student Loan Rate Crisis Echoes Subprime Mortgage Mess, Masks Deeper Problems for Youth | Commentary

Much discussion in Washington recently has centered around the doubling of interest rates for student loans from 3.4 to 6.8 percent APR and the fact that Congress has been unable (at least for now) to implement a rate freeze. Yet, doesnít this debate simply mask the wider problem of higher education ó namely that as the cost of tuition continues to rise, the employment value of graduation simultaneously declines?

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