Obama administration seeks a single regulator for banks

The Obama administration may soon propose creating a single government overseer for the nation's banks. The plan is to consolidate the patchwork of regulators of the financial markets and institutions, so to avoid the kinds of risky practices that brought the economy to its knees.

Right now, responsibility for monitoring the banking industry is split between the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department's Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision. Markets are overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. And insurance companies aren't regulated by the federal government. But all that may be changing soon.