President Obama will unveil next week sweeping new changes to the nation’s governance of troubled financial institutions, the AP reports. Unlike Washington’s temporary ownership stake in automakers and major financial companies, the new regulatory protocol will be permanent and will present the most ambitious revision since the 1930s. Most likely to benefit from the changes will be the Federal Reserve.
Fed chief Ben Bernanke would become the overarching “systemic risk” regulator, monitoring financial institutions for stresses and preventing them from choking the entire system. The rules are designed to update the 20th-century regulatory structure to fit the 21st-century system of high-stakes swaps and trades. Debate will continue, though, as some call the changes too timid; others, too strict.