Fed Announces Sweeping Changes to Nation's Financial System - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Fed Announces Sweeping Changes to Nation's Financial System

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says this is the most extensive federal oversight plan since the Great Depression. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says this is the most extensive federal oversight plan since the Great Depression.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Monday unveiled what he claims is the most extensive financial oversight plan since the depression era.

While it gives the Federal Reserve broad new powers, Paulson said it can't and won't fix the economy's immediate problems.

"This blueprint addresses complex, long-term issues that should not be decided in the midst of stressful situations and should not be implemented to add greater burden to a market already under strain," said Secretary Paulson.

He says the current economic turmoil started with housing and not regulatory issues.

Paulson said, "Housing remains by far the biggest downside risk to our economy. As we work through this period, our highest priority is limiting its impact on the real economy."

With Congress returning from a two-week break, President Bush pushed for quick passage of legislation to help troubled homeowners.

Before leaving Washington for the NATO summit, Mr. Bush said,
"Struggling homeowners are waiting on congress to act so that the FHA can help more Americans refinance their mortgages and stay in their homes."

Secretary Paulson says the blueprint for financial regulatory reform is designed to weave together the confusing patchwork of oversight by five agencies down to one.

Under the plan, the Fed could branch far beyond banking and become a regulator of the broad market from the biggest investment houses down to local mortgage brokers.

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