US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged senators to grant the Federal Reserve a dramatic expansion of its' regulatory powers and to establish a new consumer protection committee to help safeguard Americans from Wall Street's excesses.
"These reforms are essential," Obama said in his weekly radio address.
"As I've urged over the past year, we need common-sense rules that will allow our markets to function fairly and freely while reining in the worst practices of the financial industry."
On Monday, the Senate banking committee will debate a proposal by Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd that is designed to halt what he sees as abuse and excess by financial firms.
Dodd's bill would empower the Federal Reserve to conduct oversight across the financial sector, putting insurance companies and even smaller lenders under their sway.
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