WASHINGTON - The two leading architects of the financial bailout made the case Thursday that Congress must give regulators more power to curb Wall Street risk-taking.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a special panel investigating the financial crisis that the government should have acted more aggressively ahead of it. He pushed for the Obama administration's financial regulatory overhaul, which has reached a critical point in the Senate.

His predecessor, Henry Paulson, told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that the regulatory system needed reworking. But he cautioned that overly stringent regulation could stifle innovation.

Geithner testified that the crisis could have been "less severe" if the government had moved faster. As Treasury secretary, he continued the $700- billion bailout program for the financial system that began in the fall of 2008 under Paulson.

The bipartisan panel, chartered by Congress, is examining the origins of the crisis that led to the most severe recession since the 1930s. - AP

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