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Highlights of the new financial reform law

OVERSIGHT: A 10-member council of regulators will monitor threats to the financial system, deciding which companies were so big or interconnected that their failures could upend the financial system. Those companies would be subject to tougher regulation. If such a company teetered, the government could liquidate it, with the costs borne by its industry peers.

CONSUMER PROTECTION: A new independent office would oversee financial products and services such as mortgages, credit cards and short-term loans. For community banks, the new rules would be enforced by existing regulators.

FEDERAL RESERVE:Would lead the oversight of big, interconnected companies whose failures could threaten the system. Those companies would be identified by the council of regulators. The Fed also would have to set lower limits on the fees that banks charge merchants who accept debit cards.

DERIVATIVES: Most trading moves to more transparent exchanges. Banks will continue trading those related to interest rates, foreign exchanges, gold and silver. Riskier ones would run through affiliated companies with separate finances. - AP


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