U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday that proposed measures to limit bank risk-taking were in preparation for weeks and were not driven by political considerations.
"What it does is try to ensure that we limit risk-taking, the kind of risks that could threaten the stability of the system in the future," he said on Public Broadcasting System's NewsHour program.
He also told a questioner it was not aimed at breaking big banks up.
Geithner said the proposals will be implemented in "a careful, well-designed way," adding Treasury will work with regulators so that banks know how to implement them.
The administration already has a package of proposals before Congress that aim at limiting bank risks and giving regulators power to wind up failing institutions.
But a senior administration officials said Geithner worked closely with Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who now who heads a panel that advises Obama, to develop the proposals that were made public at the White House on Thursday.
A White House official said the measures had "a unanimous recommendation" from Geithner and other advisers.
Geithner said the reason for unveiling the proposals now was to offer "a little more clarity" about what the administration expects from bankers going forward and reacted sharply when asked if it was considered good politics in view of public anger at bank bailouts and pay levels.
"That's not what's behind this," he insisted. "We've provided these recommendations to him two weeks ago. The timing is driven by the fact that we're at this moment in this very important cause we're fighting, which is to get financial reform through this next stage of the process in the Senate."
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