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Brush Up Your Beltway-Speak


Acronyms are everywhere in Washington. Here's a cheat-sheet to help decipher them

In Washington, you know you've arrived if you have an acronym. President Barack Obama has POTUS (President of the United States). The justices have SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). With the expiration of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, government-speak is losing some doozies—SIGTARP and FINSOB, anyone? Do not despair—the financial overhaul law that Congress passed and Obama signed in July has brought forth a whole new lexicon. Below, what's in and what's out.

In...

DFA

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, new agency to police consumer lending

FSOC

Financial Stability Oversight Council, new council of regulators to monitor systemic risk

OFR

Office of Financial Research, new Treasury Dept. office for collecting market data

OMWI

Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, new units financial agencies must create to promote diversity

SEF

Swap Execution Facility, a derivatives trading venue

MSP

Major Swap Participant, large users of derivatives that will get extra scrutiny

FIO

Federal Insurance Office, new Treasury Dept. unit monitoring insurers

CFI

Complex Financial Institutions Office, new Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. unit to liquidate troubled too-big-to-fail firms

OCR

Office of Credit Ratings, new Securities and Exchange Commission office to oversee credit-rating companies

Out...

EESA

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the 2008 financial rescue law

TARP

Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion bank bailout within EESA

PPIP

Public-Private Investment Program, Treasury program to buy and sell troubled assets jointly with private financiers

CPP

Capital Purchase Program, cash infusions for banks

TIP

Targeted Investment Program, cash for extra-troubled firms such as Citigroup (C)

TLGP

Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, FDIC guarantee of banks' debt

TALF

Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, Federal Reserve program subsidizing investor purchases of consumer and business loans

HAMP

Home Affordable Modification Program, Treasury program to help struggling homeowners

SIGTARP

Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, an independent monitor overseeing TARP

FINSOB

Financial Stability Oversight Board, the panel of regulators monitoring the bailout

COP

Congressional Oversight Panel, another bailout monitor, this one reporting to Congress

OTS

Office of Thrift Supervision, the savings and loan regulatory agency that the new law eliminates

Schmidt is a reporter for Bloomberg News.

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