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Senate Dems move to curb Fed's powers

WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ Senate Democrats on Tuesday proposed stripping the Federal Reserve of its supervisory powers and creating instead three new federal agencies to police banks, protect consumers and dismantle failing institutions.

The 1,136-page bill, released by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, would represent a significant shift in power in federal oversight of the U.S. market. The Fed has been a dominant figure in managing the economy, although many lawmakers blame the central bank for not doing enough to prevent last year's crisis.

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Housing plan reaches 1 in 5 borrowers

WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ The Obama administration's mortgage relief program has reached one in five eligible homeowners, a government report says, but most of those borrowers are on temporary trial plans that have yet to be made final.

As of the end of October, more than 650,000 borrowers, or 20 percent of those eligible, had signed up for trials lasting up to five months, the Treasury Department said Tuesday. The modifications reduce monthly payments to more affordable levels.

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