Money Matters - Simplified

Obama confident in Fed proposal

Washington -- U.S. President Barack Obama expressed confidence in an expanded role for the U.S. Federal Reserve in spite of doubts expressed by some lawmakers.

Several members of the Senate Banking Committee have questioned the Fed's ability to prevent future financial crisis, but Obama sounded unfazed, telling reporters "there's got to be somebody who is responsible not just for monitoring the heath of individual institutions, but somebody who's monitoring systemic risks of the system as a whole," The New York Times reported Wednesday.

"We believe the Fed has the most technical expertise and the best track record in terms of doing that," he said.

A week after unveiling an 85-page white paper on regulatory reform, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has also expressed his confidence in the Fed's ability to take on systemic risk.

Privately, Bernanke has been championing the Fed's containment role in the current crisis and questioning the conclusion of some lawmakers who said the failure to avert the recession means the Fed is not the agency that should take on systemic risk.

Bernanke, however, disagrees with the administration's proposal to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, preferring the Fed continue with its role of monitoring loans, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International.

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