Geithner, Bernanke Push for Financial Services Oversight

Lora Bentley

Financial services oversight has been a focal point of the Obama Administration since the beginning, especially given the economic meltdown the country (and the world, really) has experienced in the last year. Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before congressional committees on the need to overhaul the financial regulatory system.

 

The administration's plan calls for a credit card and mortgage consumer protection agency, but its proponents have received a lot of pushback from industry players on the idea, which created significant delays. So instead of passing legislation that would establish the new regulator before Congress' August recess, House Financial Services Committee chair, Rep. Barney Frank, D.- Mass., says the committee will work on the issues in September.

 

The overhaul plan also looks to give the Federal Reserve more oversight of "large companies for the risks they may pose to the financial system," the New York Times reports. That proposal has also been criticized -- by the likes of Senate Banking Committee chair Christopher Dodd, D.- Conn., and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chief, Sheila C. Blair. Blair is of the opinion that the Fed should take a smaller role in the overhaul and that the central regulatory role should be filled by an advisory council of which the FDIC would be a member.



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