Paulson wants to license mortgage brokers. Isn't that idea about four years too late?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday issued a call for U.S. financial institutions to raise capital quickly so they can keep lending, and pledged tougher rules for the mortgage industry.

"We are encouraging financial institutions to continue to strengthen balance sheets by raising capital and revisiting dividend policies; we need those institutions to continue to lend and facilitate economic growth," he said in a speech at the National Press Club.

Among recommendations from a top-level Presidential Working Group that he heads, Paulson said he wanted "strong nationwide licensing standards" for mortgage brokers as part of a bid to ward off future housing crises and reassure investors.