Obama: new powers needed in financial area

Financial Crisis Posted on

President Barack Obama seeks new powers that would allow his administration to seize troubled companies like the insurer AIG — and take ownership of their toxic assets — if their collapse would threaten the financial system.


Obama said Wednesday his administration will soon propose new financial industry oversight that includes a "resolution authority" that would have powers similar to those of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which can seize control of banks, take over their bad assets and sell the good ones to competitors.

Administration officials did not provide any details on how the new resolution authority would be financed. That could be a key sticking point in Congress.

One official at a banking industry trade group in Washington said the Obama proposal raises concerns about the possible "nationalization" of banks.

Further details of the Obama administration's regulatory overhaul package are expected to be unveiled as early as next week, in advance of an April 2 meeting in London the president will attend to discuss the financial crisis with other world leaders.

Obama touted the idea Wednesday as his top officials and members of Congress scrambled to deal with public outrage over millions in employee bonus payments made by American International Group, which has gotten more than $182.5 billion in government support.

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