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President Barack Obama is considering asking Congress to give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner the power to seize non-bank financial companies -- such as insurers or hedge funds -- according to a report in Tuesday's Washington Post.
The measure, Administration officials hope, will allow the government to forestall an economic domino effect, such as was caused by the failure of the investment house Lehman Brothers last year.
The Post's story is based on an "administration document," which was not printed.
"Giving the Treasury secretary authority over a broader range of companies would mark a significant shift from the existing model of financial regulation, which relies on independent agencies that are shielded from the political process," the Post's Binyamin Appelbaum and David Cho wrote. "The Treasury secretary, a member of the president's Cabinet, would exercise the new powers in consultation with the White House, the Federal Reserve and other regulators, according to the document."