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Citigroup CEO Backs Reform

An unexpected ally in the fight for financial reform: Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit endorsed strong regulatory reforms before Congress on Thursday, including the creation of a strong consumer-protection agency. "A key lesson of the financial crisis is that what starts as an issue that affects consumers can become an issue for the entire financial system,” Pandit said. “Recent experience reinforces the truism that what is best for consumers is also best for the financial system and the economy. I strongly believe that consumer protection can and should be strengthened at the federal regulatory level.” He also wants a “systemic regulator with an overall view of the financial system and the ability to impose enhanced capital requirements,” and to give this body the power to break apart banks that are too big to fail. Perhaps most surprisingly, Pandit apparently endorsed the Volcker rule: “Banks should operate as banks, focused completely on serving their clients.”