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House Bill to Go After Any Large Financial Firm

Barney Frank
AP
Barney Frank

Rep. Barney Frank says he expects a House bill will allow regulators to dismantle even healthy firms if they've grown so big that they threaten the broader economy.

The House Financial Services Committee this week began work on legislation aimed at preventing the next Lehman Brothers, a giant financial institution whose bankruptcy helped to trigger the worst economic downturn in seven decades.

The bill imposes tougher capital requirements and would allow regulators to step in if it begins to fail.

Frank, who chairs the panel, told reporters on Tuesday that he expects the bill will be amended to give regulators pre-emptive powers to prevent any company from becoming too big in the first place.