The suggestion was barely out of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair's mouth before lawmakers began embracing the idea of creating a systemic risk council to oversee large financial companies.

To date discussions about a systemic regulator have centered on expanding the Federal Reserve Board's powers. For months Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and other senators have expressed concern about that idea, given the central bank's track record in the run-up to the financial crisis.

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