Geithner: Opponents of Reform Jeopardizing Financial-Sector Strength

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday that opponents of financial-sector reform were trying to sabotage efforts to strengthen the system against crisis.

"With millions of Americans still struggling to find work...and even in the face of the European crisis, we are seeing a determined effort to slow and weaken reforms that are critical to our ability to protect Americans from another crisis," Geithner told a conference to mark the setting up of the Office of Financial Research.

He said "forces working against reform" were blocking appointments to oversight positions, cutting funding, proposing new legislation to repeal parts of the Dodd-Frank law and trying to slow regulation "in the hopes of watering it down."

Geithner didn't name the opponents he was referring to directly but Republican lawmakers have voiced opposition to sections of the Dodd-Frank legal overhaul that was undertaken after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Geithner said the financial system was "in much stronger shape than before the crisis" but said that, if opponents of reform are successful they could still create conditions in which the economy would be vulnerable to crises.