JERUSALEM (AP) — Nine months of U.S.-driven diplomacy have left Israelis and Palestinians less hopeful than ever about a comprehensive peace agreement to end their century of conflict. Although a formula may yet be found to somehow prolong the talks past an end-of-April deadline, they are on the brink of collapse and the search is already on for new ideas.
Japan's economy minister said Friday that Tokyo had not reached a basic accord with Washington over a Pacific-wide trade deal despite intense talks after a bilateral summit. There had been hopes that Tokyo and Washington might break an impasse in the stalled talks during US President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo. Speaking hours before Obama's departure, however, Japanese economy minister Akira Amari said what had been achieved was "not a basic accord although there was progress".
Banking and regulatory sources with direct knowledge of the situation said the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appear to be taking different approaches to implementing a set of guidelines on leveraged loans, even though they issued them jointly in March last year. The OCC, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, is zealously implementing them, while the Fed is more relaxed about it, the sources said. While all major Wall Street banks are regulated by the Fed, the OCC oversees only those with national bank charters, which allow a bank to build a nationwide branch network.