WASHINGTON — A tentative deal struck between Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., to entrust consumer protection to the Federal Reserve Board left observers, including fellow lawmakers, more confused than enlightened, and raised critical questions.

The most discussed was why Dodd, who has assailed the Fed repeatedly for its failure to protect consumers, would reverse course. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank called the idea a "bad joke."

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