FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Statement: Urging Senate Passage of Rescue Bill
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 1, 2008)—Cynthia Blankenship, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Grapevine, Tex., issued the following statement urging the Senate to approve critical financial rescue legislation.
“On behalf of the nation’s community bankers and Main Street America, ICBA urges the Senate to promptly pass the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This legislation will address the current liquidity and credit crisis and avoid constricting the flow of funds to Main Street America, which further limits the availability of credit in local markets.
“The bill addresses key Main Street and community bank priorities. It would:
- Temporarily increase the FDIC insurance limit on deposits from $100,000 to $250,000 through Dec. 31, 2009;
- Ensure community banks will have access to the Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase problem mortgage assets;
- Allow community banks to take capital losses against ordinary income for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred share losses;
- Authorize the SEC to suspend mark-to-market accounting rules;
- Provide that TARP may be used to assist community banks which suffered the most serious impact to capital as a result of losses on Fannie and Freddie preferred stock;
- Prohibit the Treasury from establishing future guarantee programs for money market mutual funds; and
- Allow the Federal Reserve to pay interest on “sterile reserves” beginning Oct. 1, 2008.
“Rapid action by Congress to address the current liquidity and credit crisis will ensure that the flow of funds to Main Street will continue and local credit needs are met.”