Geithner backs watchdog

US TREASURY secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday threw his weight behind a proposal to slim down plans for a financial consumer protection watchdog to ensure it passes into law. <br /><br />Geithner said a plan by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank for paring back the scope of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) should be adopted.<br /><br />&ldquo;The broad thrust of those proposals look very encouraging and promising to us,&rdquo; Geithner said. The toned-down CFPAplans could overcome fierce opposition to the agency to protect consumers, which is a key part of President Obama&rsquo;s plans for reform.<br /><br />Under the plans, lawyers, retailers, car dealers, accountants and real estate brokers could be exempted. <br /><br />Geithner also said large financial companies would not automatically receive bailouts in the future, as the taxpayer should not end up footing the bill for financial failures.