Washington - Today, President Obama unveiled new financial regulations meant to protect consumers, solidify financial markets and prevent a repeat of the collapse that helped cause a global economic crisis. Highlights from his proposal include:
•A new consumer protection agency
•New standards to ensure that the largest corporations hold a certain level of capital at all times to avoid catastrophic collapses
•A council of regulators to monitor systemic risk in the financial markets
•Merging the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision, which monitor banks

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Banking Committee, today said that the proposal represents a good first step that is necessary in the wake of one of the nation's worst financial collapses. He added that even stronger regulations can be adopted, which he will help work toward in the committee.
"Millions of families are facing the toughest times they've ever experienced - that is in large part a direct result of banks being allowed to take risky action with little or no concern for the potentially devastating consequences," said Menendez. "We have to make sure real accountability is in place for Wall Street so that families don't again end up paying the price for risky financial schemes. This new proposal from the White House is certainly a good start - establishing a watchdog that stands up for consumers and making sure our largest corporations are on solid financial footing will help bring stability to our economic system. I think we can provide even more accountability and protections in areas like systemic risk, so that we can head off major threats to our economy before they are realized. I look forward to working with Chairman Dodd to produce strong financial accountability in the committee."
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