What about the OCC ruling?

by divorced one like Bush

The OCC is: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

The OCC was established in 1863 as a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The OCC is headed by the Comptroller , who is appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a five-year term. The Comptroller also serves as a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and a director of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.

The OCC’s activities are predicated on four objectives that support the OCC’s mission to ensure a stable and competitive national banking system. The four objectives are:

To ensure the safety and soundness of the national banking system.
To foster competition by allowing banks to offer new products and services.
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OCC supervision, including reducing regulatory burden.
To ensure fair and equal access to financial services for all Americans.

Out of the 4 statements and I count 9 items, I think they only have achieved two items:
…allowing banks to offer new products and services
…including reducing regulatory burden.


The OCC does not receive any appropriations from Congress. Instead, its operations are funded primarily by assessments on national banks. National banks pay for their examinations, and they pay for the OCC’s processing of their corporate applications. The OCC also receives revenue from its investment income, primarily from U.S. Treasury securities.

Ring a bell?
If yes, you are probably thinking about the one that got Elliot Spitzer and the other 48 AG’s pissed off. That one certainly needs to be reversed. Infact, the AG is going before the Supremes on the 25th. There is a push to get Obama et al to change this ruling.

For the past four years, the OCC has been championing deregulatory and minimal standards against states that have been trying to enact higher standards for banks and their operating subsidiaries. When states tried to monitor mortgage lending and protect consumers, the OCC invited national banks to contact the agency, which then wrote letters to banks and state banking agencies asserting that states had no authority to do so. The OCC also sided with national banks in the courts, writing amicus briefs arguing that state monitoring and enforcement in a variety of areas did not apply, and that only the OCC could investigate and enforce laws against nationally chartered banks.
After the Second Circuit Court sided with the OCC, the Attorneys General of all 50 states urged the Supreme Court to take up the case and reverse the appeals court decision. The Supreme Court agreed and, on March 25, the U.S. must file its brief in the case on behalf of the OCC, an agency under the Treasury Department.

With all the talk about re-regulating why have we not heard boo from Obama et al about changing this. I mean, he changed with a simple pen other bad positions from the last administration that are not related at all to the #1 issue of world wide economic collapse. What could be more simple and basic to steps to be taken to resolving this crisis than undoing the OCC ruling? Why is Obama leaving this OCC issue to chance when the Supremes already ruled in favor of Wachovia against Michigan?

This included the case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last year against Michigan, in which the OCC sided with Wachovia Bank and argued that state mortgage lending laws and oversight could not apply to a national bank’s operating subsidiary.

Just read this article from 2005 about the issue to see what the pro-OCC crowd was thinking.

Ok, it wasn’t that ruling you were thinking of. Maybe you were thinking about the OCC ruling letting banks be realtors and real estate developers? I would understand, it was a 2006 ruling making it a little more fresh in the mind. Needless to say, the National Association of Realtors was not happy.

The OCC decisions permit U.S. national banks to engage in the business of real estate development by developing and operating a luxury hotel; financing, developing, operating and leasing space in a mixed use building (including developing residential condominiums for sale). They need only argue that a small portion of the project is needed for bank premises or that a part of the project is needed to make the rest economically feasible. They may also hold a 70 percent equity stake in a windmill business, qualifying for special tax credits. Three national banks were given the green light to engage in these business activities.

Well there goes the green powered economy Obama wants.

But there was another ruling from the OCC that I’m thinking of. A ruling that requires Obama to undo a Clinton era position from 1996. And, funny thing it had an entire industry all bent out of shape that today would not be recognized as completely and entirely distinct from the banks; the insurance industry.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; bank subsidiaries may sell insurance
WASHINGTON — Insurance groups are vowing to do everything possible to block a new ruling by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that could allow national banks to form operating subsidiaries that sell and underwrite insurance.

Gary Hughes, vice president and chief counsel with the Washington-based American Council of Life Insurance, said his preliminary analysis suggests two possible levels of attack.

First, Mr. Hughes said, insurers could charge that Comptroller Eugene Ludwig does not have the power to adopt the ruling. Second, he said, insurers could say that even if the ruling is lawful, insurance underwriting is not incidental to banking and thus …

Are you seeing a pattern here? No? How about this 2002 ruling:

A recent ruling by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency eased fears of marketers in the credit card industry about any possible new rules that could have hampered telemarketing of debt suspension and cancellation agreements.
In addition, the OCC declined to consider the agreements a type of insurance product. Doing so would have taken the agreements out of the hands of federal regulators and into the jurisdiction of the states, opening the possibility that they would be subject to 50 different state laws.

The OCC also ruled that marketers could provide consumers with short-form disclosures at the time of closing an agreement provided that they mail a long-form disclosure brochure afterward. The new rules take effect in June 2003.

How did the OCC get to do this? Guess!

Congress granted the OCC the authority to regulate credit card marketers when it passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999. In 2000, the office published a notice of proposed rulemaking stating that it was considering changes regarding debt suspension and cancellation agreements.

I know we are all thinking the bad guys have been the prior Treasury, Fed and AG. But I gotta tell you, looking at these OCC actions, the OCC seems to be the real Ace under the table and NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THEM! Hell, they get their money from fees charged to the industry they regulate. And recently we heard that a part of their directorship duties, the FDIC, hasn’t been collecting the insurance premiums. Though that was do to congress I guess. I mean, no influence from the industry here (cough, cough, choking, choking).

I just can’t resist closing with this statement about why the fees were not collected. They (as in congress, bankers, financiers) really believed in the free lunch money from money theories.

But James Chessen, chief economist of the American Bankers Association, said that it made sense at the time to stop collecting most premiums because “the fund became so large that interest income on the fund was covering the premiums for almost a decade.”

Yeah, just like your 401K huh?