Wall Street shake-up approved

The broadest overhaul of US
financial rules since the Great Depression has been approved by Congress.

The sweeping measures to tighten
regulations across the financial industry will now be sent to Barack Obama to
sign into law.

The legislation, which is designed
to rein in the risky practices blamed for causing the financial crisis, was
passed by 60 votes to 39.

The measures, opposed by the
banking industry, will have an impact on most areas of the financial industry.
They establish new consumer protections, give regulators greater power to
dismantle troubled firms and limit a range of trading activities.

It was the second historic
legislative achievement this year for Mr Obama, who signed a bill overhauling
US health care in March.