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Clinton lays out financial regulation proposals

world Updated: Mar 31, 2008 13:56 IST

Reuters
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The Bush administration's plans to shake up US financial market regulation are "too short on action," Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Sunday, laying out her own set of proposals to address the issue.

Clinton, a senator from New York, called for new standards governing mortgage lenders, more independence for rating agencies, a 30 percent annual interest rate cap on all credit cards and more immediate authority for the Federal Reserve to regulate financial institutions.

Her comments, made to Reuters in an interview, come a day before U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson unveils proposals for broad reform of financial regulation.

"There is still a very serious gap between what the administration is proposing and the immediate crisis that we face," Clinton told Reuters.

"Although I appreciate and agree with some of the recommendations, the blueprint is simply too short on action," said Clinton, who is battling Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to become the Democratic nominee for November's presidential election.

Clinton called for new legislation to make mortgage originators -- people or organizations that start the process of organizing a loan -- subject to minimum licensing, supervision and capital requirements similar to rules that apply to banks.

She dismissed the Bush administration's proposal to establish a commission to address the issue as "too little too late."

Clinton declined to comment on whether she would reappoint Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke if she were elected president.

"I think that he inherited some difficult problems," she said of the Fed chair. "He's obviously aware of the move toward greater regulation, but no one is yet meeting the immediate needs in the way that I think we should."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by Frances Kerry)