- - Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Banks told to watch Egypt-related transactions

The Treasury Department Wednesday advised American financial institutions to closely monitor transactions related to Egypt for any possible signs that state assets were being misappropriated.

The advisory, issued by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said banks should apply enhanced scrutiny to private banking accounts involving “foreign political figures.”

It also advised institutions to “monitor transactions that could potentially represent misappropriated or diverted state assets, proceeds of bribery or other illegal payments, or other public corruption proceeds.”


Subpoena seeks records on ‘sweetheart’ loans

A House committee chairman renewed efforts Wednesday to obtain names of current and former federal, state and local policymakers including congressional colleagues who received “sweetheart” mortgage deals from the former Countrywide Financial Corp.

The subpoena by Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, makes it more likely that the records could be made public.

A subpoena in 2009, when Democrats controlled the committee, specified that information on discounted loans to members of Congress and their spouses go only to the House ethics committee with all names deleted. The ethics committee has never revealed the information it obtained.


Obama, Kaine discuss Senate seat in Va.

President Obama spoke by phone Wednesday with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine about the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb in Virginia, officials said.

The conversation came as Democrats are urging the former Virginia governor to launch a campaign. It was confirmed by a White House official and a Democratic Party official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Separate from the call, several Democratic officials said Wednesday Mr. Kaine is reconsidering his initial reluctance to run and wants more time to think about it. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr. Kaine has not made a decision.

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