A senator for the state with the most bank failures in the nation is excited about a study to look into the cause of the trend.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, as well as Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, sponsored the legislation, which sets up the studies. It passed the House of Representatives this week and has been sent to President Obama for his signature.
"Since 2008, there have been more than 400 bank failures nationwide," Chambliss said. "Seventy-three of those have occurred in Georgia alone. It is clear that Congress needs more information about the underlying causes of these bank failures. If there is a better way to resolve this crisis, we must pursue it. This bill is the first step to doing that."
A press release said the legislation would provide for two studies -- one conducted by the Inspector General of the FDIC and one by the General Accounting Office to look into the impact some of the policies and procedures of the FDIC and whether they may have negatively affected troubled institutions.
The studies would look at banks in the 10 states with the highest number of failures: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Washington.
The president is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the year, the release said.
"When I ask federal regulators why so many banks in Georgia and across the country have failed and continue to fail, I'm given dozens of different excuses, but no real solutions to stopping this epidemic," said Westmoreland, a Republican who represents west central Georgia. "Community banks are the economic engine of our towns and cities, and the large number of failed banks in Georgia can have a devastating effect on our economic recovery. Without these local lenders, job growth and economic investment can dry up an unmistakable reality proven by the fact that the 10 states with the highest number of failures also have some of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country.
"Hopefully, this legislation can lead to answers to not only what's behind these bank failures but also answers to how we can make sure this doesn't happen again in the future," he said.
Beaudreau welcomes daughter
Congratulations to Commissioner Mike Beaudreau and his wife Tegwen.
The pair welcomed a baby girl at 6:32 p.m. Friday after more than 12 hours of labor.
Mary-Margaret Anne Beaudreau weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 and three-quarter inches long.
"She's a good healthy girl," the commissioner said of his first-born child.
The baby was named after Tegwen's late mother Mary-Margaret and Beaudreau's grandmother, who was also named Margaret. She has been nicknamed Maggie.
"We're definitely still adjusting," Beaudreau said Wednesday of some late nights with his new bundle of joy. "It's exciting but you get short on sleep. ... (Sleep) would be a nice Christmas present."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.