Congress Focuses On Corporate CU Bailout

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WASHINGTON – The Senate Banking Committee, reflecting heightened congressional interest in the corporate credit union bailout, has set an unusual oversight hearing focusing solely on NCUA for next week.

The lone witness at the hearing will be NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz who has been asked to provide the Senate panel with details about the corporate bailout, currently estimated to cost credit unions $16 billion. The hearing is unusual because it is rare for the head of a single agency, let alone NCUA, to appear by themselves before the Banking Committee, according to credit union lobbyists.

Matz is expected to explain NCUA corporate bailout, including the conservatorship of the five big corporates, the securitization of their assets and sale on Wall Street, the projected costs of the bailout, and NCUA’s newly passed corporate regulations.

Still, Matz is expected to be greeted by a friendly panel which will be chaired by Tim Johnson, the South Dakota Democrat who sponsored Matz’s nomination to the NCUA Board and is a long-time friend of the NCUA Chairman. Johnson, who is slated to be the next chairman of the committee , is expected to take the chair next week as the current chairman Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, is making the rounds at retirement speeches.

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