New York Fed

The statement didn't name the firms. Preventing Collapse Countrywide's servicing failures, including insufficient record keeping, may open the door for investors to seek repurchases, said Kathy Patrick, the bondholders' lawyer at Gibbs and Bruns LLP in Houston. Patrick represents investors who own at least 25 percent of so-called voting rights in the deals and stand to recover 'many billions of dollars,' she said. The Fed has no choice except to shield the assets it acquired as it stepped in to prevent a collapse of the financial system, said Joseph Mason, a finance professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. 'The New York Fed is, acting along with other institutional holders, trying to preserve the value of their securities holdings,' Mason said. 'To act otherwise would be inappropriate and would be viewed as a waste of the government's money that was invested in this bailout.

' The Federal Reserve System, made up of 12 regional banks plus the Washington-based Board of Governors, works with other regulators to ensure the safety and soundness of the financial system. Wall Street Banks The New York Fed plays a key role because it oversees many of the biggest Wall Street bank holding companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. Bank of America, the largest US bank by assets, is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and overseen by the Richmond Fed. The Dodd-Frank Act enacted this year expanded the Fed's authority by giving it responsibility for overseeing non-bank financial firms deemed 'too big to fail' because their collapse might pose a risk to the system.

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