January 31st, 2009
11:24 AM ET
6 months ago

Obama pledges strict oversight of CEOs

Obama's radio address this week again focused on this economy.
Obama's radio address this week again focused on this economy.

(CNN) - President Obama said Saturday his aides are crafting a new plan to revive the country's financial system - and to make sure CEOs don't misuse bailout funds.

"We'll ensure that CEOs are not draining funds that should be advancing our recovery," Obama said, in his weekly radio/YouTube address airing Saturday morning. "And we will insist on unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight and clear accountability, so taxpayers know how their money is being spent and whether it is achieving results."

News that corporate executives had handed out $20 billion in bonuses last year spurred tough words from Obama this week. The president blasted those bonuses as "the height of irresponsibility," and seemed to say there could be consequences for those decisions.

"While I'm committed to doing what it takes to maintain the flow of credit, the American people will not excuse or tolerate such arrogance and greed," President Obama told listeners Saturday morning. "The road to recovery demands that we all act responsibly, from Main Street to Washington to Wall Street."

He also said that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is preparing a strategy to lower mortgage costs and increase the flow of credit.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Sammy

    I would recognize President Obama's comments as a stern warning to CEOs at financial firms. If they continue being so greedy, they will be penalized. Let's not forget that the office held by Mr. Obama is the executive branch; his governmental branch is responsible for enforcing our laws.

    And our laws state plainly that embezzlement is a crime, and you can to to jail for it. Remember this, Mr. CEO on Wall Street.

    Have a good day.

    January 31, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Stu-Florida

    The arrogance of these "licensed bandits" is disgusting. A bonus should be like a tip. You have to EARN IT!! They obviously haven't earned a dime. Quite the contrary...
    These "CEOs" certainly have some chutzpah taking bonuses on the tax payers dime. There should be NO bonuses as long as a company or a bank that has been given these bailout "funds", keeps siphoning the very green we are providing and will be until our next generation.
    I really don't know what makes them believe they are entitled to this. It's the team that earns it... or burns it, too!!
    NO BONUSES... NO WAY!! CREEPS>>>

    January 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. lost in moderation limbo!

    I like this guy more and more everyday!

    January 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. lr

    I meant:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    those bailout money used for bonuses are outrage. Bonus is in times of prosperity, when things go well. If someone begs for bailout it means the company is not doing well. The greed is disgusting. I bet those people have nice salaries, they will NOT die from hunger if they tighten their belts. We, who payed for the bailout ( our tax money, we who do struggle) cannot tighten our belts much more. How those greedy people
    can sleep after this?
    Thank you Mr. President for being this good, this fair.

    January 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Joe the Troll

    Kevin-

    So up until now these companies HAVE had the BEST people for the job? That's pretty scary.

    Larry-

    How about some examples? I ask because you REALLY seem to be full of it. Prove your point, IF YOU CAN.

    January 31, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. ceos?

    Lets bring back public flogging and humiliation.We could could all gather and spit on the CEOS.

    January 31, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. KLS

    Bush and Paulson SHOULD have done this with the first taxpayer's bail out money. That was beyond STUPID not to have cared how our money was being spent.

    Thank you President Obama for looking out for "main street" instead of "wall street"!!!

    January 31, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. lakeside176

    We must ALL support President Obama. I hope he does all he should do in bringing about a return of the bonus'. We, the tax payers didn't agree to paying them bonus' that they did not earn. A bonus is a reward for expertise in making sure a company makes a profit, not money for a lousy job well done. What is wrong with the Board of Directors? Or did they also get large bonus'? .

    January 31, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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