Is this the end of the free market as we know it? In testimony before Congress this morning, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will propose a sweeping expansion of government regulation over the financial system, ending the Bush era of decontrol. The Washington Post reports the Obama administration’s plan would “extend federal regulation for the first time to all trading in financial derivatives and to companies including large hedge funds and major insurers such as American International Group.” It also would impose uniform standards on all financial firms, including banks, to curb their risk-taking. Obama won’t seek to reshape the government’s structure at first, but instead will focus on setting standards, many of which will require legislation.
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