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Dodd: Financial Reform Bill Is Open for 'Discussion'

CNBC.com
Wednesday, 11 Nov 2009 | 11:37 AM ET

Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, told CNBC Wednesday that his version of the financial reform bill is a "discussion draft," and there is still room for debate over whether to create a single federal regulator, as well as whether to make an independent consumer protection agency.

Dodd on Regulatory Reform
Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, discusses his financial regulatory reform proposal.

Dodd said that while "every institution wants to retain turf," he doesn't expect Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to fight the proposed legislation, as he has been a "great ally" in thinking it through.

"[The bill] will change somewhat, but I thought it was important to come out with a bold plan that reflected the changes that we need in this country," Dodd said.

The committee listened to input for a year and a half before drafting its version of the bill, and it reflects some consensus on major issues such as systemic risk and too big too fail, Dodd said.

But banks and regulators criticized the plan, which would consolidate the four current banking regulators into one super cop called the Financial Institutions Regulatory Administration.

This would help the Federal Reserve to act independently and concentrate on its core functions, Dodd said.

"We need more eyes with a diverse look watching for systemic risk," he said. "This crisis is so large that we need to take advantage of this moment and not act timidly.

In a separate interview on CNBC, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he thinks the draft is an improvement over the Obama administration and Secretary Treasury Timothy Geithner's versions, but there is still a lot of work to do.

For one, Corker said that before the legislation is put in place, he thinks the Fed's oversight of the derivatives area could be expanded to more than what the current version advocates.

Reuters contributed to this report

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