September 23, 2009

Geithner pitches, reform hearings set

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pitched regulatory reform to Washington lawmakers Wednesday a year after a near-collapse of the financial system.

In a statement prepared for the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Geithner said, the flaws in our financial system and regulatory framework that allowed this crisis to occur, and in many ways helped cause it, are still in place.

To emphasis the size of the debacle, Geithner told committee members, in a matter of just three months, five trillion of Americans' household wealth evaporated. Economic activity and trade around the world ground toward a halt.

Going forward, we simply cannot walk away from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and not do everything in our power to reform the system that contributed to this breakdown, he said.

Geithner stressed three critical objectives for reform, including protections for consumers and investors, creation of a more stable, safer financial system "¦ less prone to crisis, and protection of American taxpayers from having to bear the costs of battling future crises.

Frank said hearings on specific reform proposals would begin next week, The New York Times reported.