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Federal Regulators Seize 47 More Ailing S

From Associated Press

Federal regulators Thursday announced the takeover of 47 more failed savings and loan institutions, while President Bush urged Congress to act more swiftly on his rescue plan for the industry.

The takeovers bring the number of institutions under the control of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to 165 in 25 states.

In the latest action, the agency took over 16 institutions in Texas, 10 in Illinois, nine each in Louisiana and Florida and three in Oklahoma. Their assets totaled $6.8 billion.

The FDIC, which regulates commercial banks, is going into the sickest S&Ls; with the goal of minimizing losses while the Administration waits for Congress to appropriate the money to shut them down or sell them to new buyers. The agency plans to take over about 60 more institutions within the next month.

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Meanwhile President Bush, in a speech in Houston, prodded Congress to move quickly on his plan to save the beleaguered industry.

“There’s no excuse for delay,” he said, urging legislators to meet his challenge to pass the reform package 45 days from Feb. 22, when it was delivered to Congress.

Sen. Donald W. Riegle (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced Thursday that his committee plans to act on an S&L; bill by April 14 and is pressing for a full Senate vote by April 21, which is after the 45-day deadline.

“We’re going as fast as we can within the bounds of doing the job properly,” Riegle said.

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In the House, the subcommittee with jurisdiction over S&Ls; plans a vote by April 14, with a vote by the full Banking Committee to follow soon after. However, nearly a half dozen other House committees are claiming jurisdiction over part of the bill and that may delay a vote by the full House.

In other developments:

- Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.), chairman of the House Banking Committee, said he will push to strip from the Bush S&L; proposal a provision for the automatic reappointment of M. Danny Wall as the nation’s top S&L; regulator.

- The Senate Finance Committee endorsed the nomination of David W. Mullins Jr., one of the architects of the Administration’s S&L; plan, to a senior Treasury Department post. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), said the full Senate could confirm Mullins as assistant secretary for domestic finance as early as today.

- A report of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, summarized in a House Banking Committee memo, cited five examples where S&L; regulators in Dallas may have given preferential treatment to influential members of the industry.

- Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.) complained in a letter to Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady about efforts by S&L; regulators to sell repossessed property in Europe.

- State bank and S&L; regulators asked Congress to preserve their power to permit state-chartered institutions to offer services and make investments not allowed federal-chartered S&Ls.;


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