$30B for community banks

Community banks would be able tap a $30-billion government fund to help them increase lending to small businesses under a bill working its way toward a vote in the Senate. Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets. The fund would be available to banks with less than $10 billion in assets. The measure is part of a bill that would also provide a series of tax breaks aimed at small businesses. The House passed a bill establishing a similar lending fund in June.

Panel OKs Obama picks for Fed

A Senate panel WednesdayWednesday approved three of President Barack Obama's picks for the Federal Reserve, including his nomination of Janet Yellen to be the central bank's second-highest-ranking official. The Senate Banking Committee also approved Sarah Raskin and Peter Diamond to be on the Fed board, sending all three nominees to the full Senate for confirmation. A vote is expected in September.

Avis: $1.3B for Dollar Thrifty

Avis Budget Group Inc. has offered $1.33 billion for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., topping Hertz Global Holdings Inc.'s April agreement to buy the rental-car company for $1.2 billion. The proposal of $46.50 a share includes $39.25 in cash and 0.6543 of an Avis share for each Dollar Thrifty share, Parsippany, N.J.-based Avis said WednesdayWednesday in a statement. The offer is 4.5 percent less than Tulsa, Okla.-based Dollar Thrifty's closing price WednesdayWednesday, which was $48.68. Hertz on April 26 offered $41 a share in cash and stock. Dollar Thrifty has scheduled a special stockholder's meeting for Sept. 16 to vote on Hertz's bid.

New rules for bank lenders

Loan officers at banks will be required to provide their names and fingerprints to a national database as part of an effort to crack down on shady operators who fed the real estate bubble. The new requirements were mandated by a bill passed by Congress two years ago. Federal bank regulators approved them yesterday. The rules apply to employees of banks regulated on the federal and state levels. Mortgage brokers are already required to be licensed by the system.

From wire reports

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