WASHINGTON - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., urged fellow lawmakers last week to authorize either the Federal Reserve or a new federal entity to act as a "financial services risk regulator," that could assess and mitigate undue risks across the financial markets.

The Fed or new entity would have the capacity and power to assess risk across financial markets, regardless of corporate form, and to intervene when appropriate, Frank told those attending a meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, according to a committee release issued Thursday. In exchange for potential access to the discount window for non-depository institutions, the regulator would receive timely market information from market players, inspect institutions, report to Congress on the health of the entire financial sector and act when necessary to limit risky practices or protect the integrity of financial systems, Frank said. The Federal Reserve Board only regulates banks.

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