Immelt Appointed Chairman of Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; Volcker Resigns
On Friday, President Obama announced that General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt will serve as Chairman of the newly created “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.” The Council will advise the President on job creation policies and on the establishment of a long-term growth strategy. Immelt previously served on the board of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB). On Thursday, the President also announced the resignation of PERAB Chairman Paul Volcker and dissolution of the PERAB.
SEC Issues New Rules on Asset Backed Securities
On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved new regulations regarding asset-backed securities. Among a series of new rules which will take effect in 2012, one requires that financial firms that issue asset-backed securities assess and disclose the quality of the underlying assets, including mortgages, credit card debt and student loans. The rule, which the SEC first proposed in October, passed in a 3-2 vote. The agency’s two Republican commissioners, Kathleen Casey and Troy Paredes, opposed the changes. Another new rule requires that banks and other issuers disclose the number of requests they have received to buy back troubled assets. Starting in February 2012, the issuers will have to report how many loans they have repurchased, dating back three years.
Geithner Declines First House Republican TARP Hearing
On Wednesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa invited Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to testify next week before the Committee regarding the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Geithner declined Issa’s invitation but offered to send in his place Tim Massad, an acting Assistant Treasury Secretary. While Issa could have issued Geithner a subpoena, he instead accepted the offer of Massad’s testimony for next week’s hearing.