U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted top U.S. regulators in an expletive-laden tirade amid frustration over President Barack Obama's faltering plan to overhaul financial regulation, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday, citing people familiar with the meeting.
Geithner told regulators that enough is enough, the newspaper said, citing one person familiar with the meeting last Friday with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Chairman Sheila Bair.
The Treasury Secretary said regulators had been given a chance to air their concerns, but that it was time to stop, the newspaper said, citing the person.
A Treasury Department representative had no immediate comment. The Fed, the SEC and the FDIC did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Obama in June unveiled a financial regulatory overhaul, sometimes called the biggest since the 1930s. Among other things, the plan would give the Fed added powers, award the government more power to break up troubled companies, and create a new agency to oversee consumer finance.
Many major banks and industry trade groups however have criticized the plan, as have some regulators wary that any redistribution of power would reduce their own.
According to the newspaper, Friday's roughly hour-long meeting was unusual because of Geithner's repeated obscenities and his aggressive posture toward regulators generally deemed independent of the White House.
The newspaper said Geithner told attendees that the administration and Congress set policy. It also said the Treasury Secretary, without singling out officials, raised concerns about regulators who have questioned the wisdom of giving the Fed more power.
Schapiro and Bair have argued that more authority should be shared among a council of regulators.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Additional reporting by David Lawder in Washington, D.C.; editing by Carol Bishopric)