Geithner Defends Financial Reform on Capitol Hill

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In testimony on Capitol Hill Friday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner defended his financial reform plan by stating that the current system scatters responsibilities causing a slow response of regulators.

Geithner welcomed the debate with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as they squared off about who should be the nation's top consumer watchdog.   

"We believe we can continue to do good work in this area of consumer protections," Bernanke said.
 
Currently the Fed has the duty of protecting consumers, but Geithner wants those responsibilities stripped away and given to a newly created Consumer Protection Agency.

The new agency would monitor the fine print on credit cards and mortgages, which the Fed and other scattered agencies currently oversee.

Bernanke said those responsibilities should stay with the central bank.  He has also volunteered to lead the task by outlining new rules for mortgage lenders.
    
House Democrats have said they are committed to advancing Geithner's proposal, but dozens of industry groups are voicing their opposition and slowing the process.

Bernanke is nearing the end of his term and President Obama will have to decide whether to reappoint him early next year.

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