US May Create Financial Watchdog for Consumers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2009 9:28 PM CDT
National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, left, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration may create a government agency with sweeping powers to protect consumers who use financial products such as mortgages, mutual funds, and credit cards, reports the Washington Post. Current protections are scattered throughout several agencies. The new plan would corral them under one regulatory commission and create tougher laws—or better enforce those already on the books—on behalf of consumers.

The proposed agency would be modeled on the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but instead of faulty toasters, it would guard against deceptive loans and the like. Larry Summers and Tim Geithner are among the administration officials talking with industry leaders. Huge hurdles remain, and the Post notes that the creation of such an agency would likely set off huge turf wars among current regulatory bodies such as the SEC.