Welcome, 2011

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So long, 2010. Welcome, 2011. Let's hope with the upcoming year comes a rejuvenating prosperity for everyone on Main Street America. ICBA looks forward to a fresh start with the 112th Congress and the regulatory agencies. With so many issues to deal with right away, we all have to hit the ground running.

Out of the chute, ICBA has been busy working to fix the Federal Reserve's terribly flawed interchange price-fixing proposal and asking the FDIC to curb its overly harsh overdraft guidance. ICBA will lead the charge to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks by pushing another ICBA-crafted Communities First Act that will promote targeted-tax and regulatory-relief measures.

ICBA has also weighed in on several issues with regulators implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, including offering our views on higher capital and liquidity requirements for the largest banks, liquidation or "funeral" plans for systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), and rules that define qualified mortgages. Of course, many, many more Wall Street Reform Act regulatory proposals will be made this year, and lawmakers and regulators will address a slew of other issues. Below are four key issues to track.

Accounting-ICBA has urged the Financial Accounting Standards Board not to go forward with its misguided fair-value proposal for financial instruments. As you know firsthand, the proposed accounting treatment could pose severe problems by grievously distorting the operations of community banks and other financial institutions that hold, rather than trade, financial instruments for cash-flow purposes. We will press our case with Congress and the agencies in the year ahead.

Safety and soundness exams-Since the financial crisis began, ICBA has expressed repeatedly our grave concerns to regulators and Congress about overzealous safety and soundness exams that are harming community banks' ability to lend. …