Obama to push consumer financial watchdog agency

October 8, 2009

FINANCIAL-REGULATION/    WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will seek this week to rally support for his proposal to create a watchdog agency that would protect consumers from risky financial products.
   The Consumer Financial Protection Agency idea was included in a sweeping package of financial regulatory proposals Obama unveiled in June. He is seeking passage of the regulatory package by the end of the year.
   The agency is one of the more controversial elements of the package and is opposed by many in the financial industry.
   The bill would also bring new oversight to derivatives markets and hedge funds and would create a process for winding down troubled financial firms whose failure could threaten market stability.
   A U.S. official said that on Friday, Obama will host an event at the White House in which “he will call on Americans to stand up to the opponents of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency” and urge swift action on the regulatory reform measures.
   The regulatory package is aimed at tightening oversight of banks and capital markets to try to prevent a repeat of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
   Obama will be joined at Friday’s event by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The two will meet with four people who have been hurt by lack of oversight in the financial system, the U.S. official said.
   The U.S. House of Representatives is on track to vote on a financial regulation bill next month, leaders in that chamber said this week.
   The Senate, however, has yet to set a timetable, leaving undefined the final steps for Obama’s reforms. (Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by Chris Wilson) ((caren.bohan@thomsonreuters.com; +1 202 898 8300)) Keywords: FINANCIAL REGULATION/OBAMA
Thursday, 08 October 2009 02:02:27RTRS [nN07498102] {C}ENDS

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