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                        By caMden R. fine, PReSident                and    ceo      of    icBa

                                 AUTUMn For Too-Big-To-FAiL?
                           After a long August of scorching town-hall meet-                 As with any legislation, how
                        ings in their home districts, members of Congress are            quickly the financial reform
                        returning this month to the highly uncertain political           policymaking wheels will turn
                        climate of Washington, D.C. This year’s remaining                in Congress is uncertain. It’s too
                        agenda for Congress and the Obama administration,                soon to know if lawmakers can
                        ambitious and wide-ranging, includes substantial                 complete such a complex pack-
                        issues such as health care, cap-and-trade legislation,           age of financial reforms this year.
                        an energy bill and the 2010 federal budget. Enacting             Legislation could move forward in
                        financial regulatory reform that addresses the dangers           a piecemeal fashion with a series
                        from too-big-to-fail institutions is also a top priority         of targeted bills this year and next.
                        of both the administration and the Congress.                     However, Americans are paying
                           The administration’s sweeping regulatory reform               close attention to this debate, and
                        plan, the subject of congressional hearings that ICBA            lawmakers know it. American tax-
                        participated in this summer, represents the most                 payers know that too-big-to-fail
                        far-reaching financial legislation in 75 years. At its           was a major factor in the financial
                        heart, the plan endorses many vital ICBA policy                  crisis and severely complicated
  Taxpayers know        recommendations to rein in the megabanks and                     the government’s efforts to fix it.
    intuitively that    unregulated nonbanks that have brought Americans                 Taxpayers know intuitively that
until too-big-to-fail   so much anxiety and pain during the past two years.              until too-big-to-fail is resolved,
 is resolved, their        Community bankers should be cautious and vigi-                their money is at risk.
  money is at risk.     lant but also confident and hopeful that our posi-                  After 25 years of warning poli-
                        tions on how to de
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