The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission urged lawmakers Thursday to give his agency the power to oversee investment banks -- even as a top Federal Reserve official said the Fed needed similar powers.
Both the S.E.C. chairman, Christopher Cox, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank president, Timothy F. Geithner, told a congressional committee that the decades-old patchwork of regulatory agencies deserved part of the blame for the recent financial market turmoil, which helped bring down Bear Stearns and has hammered the shares of other banks and brokerages.
But there seemed to be a subtle competition in the air on Thursday over which government body should get expanded powers to supervise investment banks, if lawmakers decide that greater regulation is the way to go.
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