Washington -- Several U.S. Senate Democrats hammered banking regulators and financial consultants Thursday for the mess they say resulted after consultants failed to sort through foreclosure improprieties.

This is what can happen, said Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, when the government outsources its financial regulatory oversight. The consulting culture is overly cozy and ripe for abuse, he said, suggesting that people who may have incentives to be looking for their next lucrative private-sector contract should not also be hiring out to do government-related examinations of that very sector.

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