Bernanke, Geithner meet on consumer protection

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner delivers a press conference in Beijing.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: Now the big question, which is: "How can regulators better protect consumers?" Tne Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are meeting today to talk about how to build a new consumer watchdog and what it's gonna take to get it going. Reporter Janet Babin is with us live to talk about what we know so far. Good morning Janet.

Janet Babin: Hey Steve.

Chiotakis: Remind us, what this new agency's supposed to do.

Babin: So this is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it's going to regulate everything from credit cards to mortgages. This agency was created as part of that sweeping federal overhaul legislation signed last week by the president, and this was one of many parts of the law that banks had fought.

Chiotakis: All right, so we have the Fed chair Bernanke and Secretary Geithner, are the regulators going to address the bankers' concerns today?

Babin: Well this is really about the work of getting it up and running. The future battle is going to be over how far this bureau can go in limiting what financial products are on the market. Greg McBride is an analyst at the personal finance website Bankrate.com, and he says this new bureau's going to have to show a little temperance:

Greg McBride: It's going to have to be very delicately done, so that they're representing the interests of the average consumer while not stifling the innovation in the marketplace that's so critical to recovery.

Chiotakis: All right, so we've talked about what the agency's going to do. Any news today about what it's going to look like, Janet?

Babin: Well staffing is still happening. The Washington Post reports that employees from several federal agencies, including Treasury, could be assigned to work at this new bureau. And we still don't know, Steve, who's going to head the bureau up. President Obama is reviewing several candidates, including Elizabeth Warren.

Chiotakis: Janet Babin reporting live for us. Janet, thanks.

Babin: Thank you, Steve.

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