Shelby: The Fed has 'utterly failed' Americans

The Federal Reserve has "utterly failed" as a regulator of banks, and cannot see its powers expanded under new financial regulations, Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Thursday.

"I agree with your concerns about the Federal Reserve being the powerful systemic regulator," Shelby said on Fox News radio's "Brian and the Judge" program. "They have utterly failed the American people as a bank regulator."

Shelby spoke in reaction to the Obama administration's proposed reforms to the financial regulatory structure, laid out in detail yesterday. Many Republicans and some centrist Democrats have expressed skepticism about vesting as much new, regulatory power with the Fed as is called for in the bill.

"We cannot -- should not consider seriously putting this power in the Federal Reserve," Shelby said. "That would further empower the Federal Reserve...it's just too much power in one place, no accountability to the people."

The top Republican on the Banking Committee also condemned the Obama administration's repeated intervention in the economy via bailouts.

"At the rate at which we're going with the Obama administration...we're down the road to financial destruction," Shelby said.

Listen to the audio of the interview here.