Obama defends Fed as overseer on systemic risk

President Barack Obama, wearing informal clothing and summer footwear, walks from the Oval Office of the White House to his motorcade, which will take him to a golf outing at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on Father's Day, June 21, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama in an interview aired on Monday defended his administration’s plan to give the Federal Reserve new powers to oversee systemic risks in the economy.

Obama, in an interview shown on the CBS Early Show, said the administration wants an overseer that “is accountable and clear when it comes to these large systemic firms that could potentially bring down the entire financial system. The Fed has the expertise and the credibility I think to do it.”

Asked whether lapses by the Fed contributed to last year’s crisis, Obama said, “It wasn’t the Fed where regulations broke down here.”

Washington World Desk