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Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson proposed a set of sweeping changes on Monday aimed at modernizing the nation's financial system in what could herald the biggest regulatory overhaul of Wall Street since the Great Depression.
The plan, which would broadly expand the Federal Reserve's powers, comes as concerns about the housing crisis and its fallout in the financial system continues to fuel calls for change in Washington. The Paulson changes, if enacted, would be largely invisible to consumers but would drastically alter how the financial services industry is regulated.
"Government has a responsibility to make sure our financial system is regulated effectively," Paulson said. "And in this area, we can do a better job."