Federal regulators tried to assure the financial markets yesterday that mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “are adequately capitalized,” while lawmakers said there is a growing consensus that the Federal Reserve Board should be granted more regulatory authority over broker-dealers.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson testified before the House Financial Services Committee about the state of U.S. market regulation and how a replay of the Bear Stearns collapse and mortgage crisis could be prevented in the future. The two regulators gave their testimony as market angst pushed down stock and debt prices for the government-sponsored enterprises in the past two days. Investors fear that the companies do not have enough cash available to stay solvent.

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