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Morning Money Links: China tightens credit; FDIC looks at new approach on bank pay; AIG plot thickens

January 12, 2010 | 11:18 am

--- China sops up some credit: In a surprise, the government orders banks to set aside more reserves, a way to limit lending and slow the economy. If the U.S. stock market needs an excuse to have its first down day of the new year, this is a good one. Alcoa’s disappointing earnings report is another.

--- FDIC tries carrot-and-stick approach to bank pay: The agency proposes tying bank deposit-insurance premiums to pay policies, and whether the policies boost or lower the risk an institution is taking. The full proposal is here. The devil will be deep in the details on this one. Meanwhile, more on the Obama administration's idea to slap new fees on financial-services companies.

--- Something to look forward to: The Securities and Exchange Commission had a hand in maintaining the shroud of secrecy over the federal bailout of American International Group: The agency agreed that certain details of the deal may not be publicly revealed before 2018. “I think the American people deserve somebody’s head on a platter,” says California Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who keeps pushing for more disclosure of how the bailout went down.

--- The silver lining in a dark cloud: Across the pond, Gideon Rachman argues that a brush with national bankruptcy might be the best thing for America.

-- Tom Petruno

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