The Treasury could make an announcement as early as today on the investment managers it chose to manage funds to buy banks' troubled assets, sources said. The government is expected to name as many as nine firms, more than initially expected, although the size of the program appears to be shrinking.
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a proposal by a vote of 3-2 that allows broker-dealers to cast votes for corporate directors only when their clients tell them to. "Counting uninstructed broker votes is akin to stuffing the ballot box for management as broker votes almost always are cast in favor of management's candidates for board seats," said Ann Yerger, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors.
The process for replacing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York triggered concerns among board members. William Dudley, a former Goldman Sachs economist, was promoted to the position in January after heavy lobbying by Geithner. Although outgoing Fed presidents often offer input on their successors, some argued that this situation was different because Geithner was nominated for a political office at the time.
U.S. Bancorp plans to expand into the Western portion of the country, CEO Richard Davis said. He predicted that the economy will stay in recession until the middle of 2010. Last month, the bank repaid $6.6 billion in federal rescue money.
Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, went further than other policymakers in assuring that the Fed is not likely to push its interest rate up in the near future. Speaking to reporters after a speech, she said it is "not outside the realm of possibility" that the central bank will let the interest rate remain close to zero for several years.