A Treasury Department official is defending the recent overhaul of financial rules, saying it gives regulators a tool they need to avoid future bailouts.
Timothy Massad, a senior Treasury official managing the $700 billion bailout, is telling a House panel that the law lets regulators impose tougher rules on big financial companies and shutter those that pose a threat.
Massad is disputing a claim made at the same hearing by Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky, who has oversight authority over the bailout.
Barofsky says the law won't end bailouts. He cited recent comments by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other top regulators who suggested the government would rescue banks if one of them threatened the broader financial system.
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