April 22nd, 2010
12:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama asks Wall Street to back reform

President Obama called on the financial industry Thursday to support his efforts to enact new regulatory reforms or risk repeating the ‘failure of responsibility’ that nearly brought down the nation's economy.
President Obama called on the financial industry Thursday to support his efforts to enact new regulatory reforms or risk repeating the ‘failure of responsibility’ that nearly brought down the nation's economy.

New York (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama called on the financial industry Thursday to support his efforts to enact new regulatory reforms or risk repeating the "failure of responsibility" that nearly brought down the nation's economy.

"I believe in the power of the free market," Obama said in a speech at Cooper Union, not far from the New York Stock Exchange. "But a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it."

The highly anticipated speech cames as Obama and Democrats in Congress are pushing to get a reform package approved this year, with talk that there may be support from at least some Republicans. The House passed a regulatory reform bill in December, and the Senate version is currently being debated.

The reforms the administration has proposed represent a "significant improvement on the flawed rules we have in place today," Obama said. But that push get those reforms enacted has had to contend with "the furious efforts of industry lobbyists to shape them to their special interests."

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Filed under: President Obama • Wall Street
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. wwf

    It would be nice if some of you that post here actually knew what you were talking about instead of falling prey to sound bits. I guess some are just to lazy to read. What is scary is that these people also vote. That is if they are not too lazy to do so.

    April 22, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Donna

    People why can't some of you listen and stop defending the other person. If Obama was a liar do you think he would try to help us stay afloat or just let us sink. Many GOP's have their heads up their butts and don't want anything to go right for the country. If you are in thay same boat then go in the ocean and sink and let us stay afloat.

    April 22, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Val

    To Gleen Koons,
    As a tax payer and as a small business owner, I have no complaints. Just like everybody else I work hard for my money. I'm single and no KIDS IN SCHOOL YET. OUR TAX MONEY SUPPORTS THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, NURSING HOMES, BRIDGES, ROADS YOU DRIVE IN EVERY SINGLE DAY, MEDICAL COUPONS FOR THOSE WHO ARE QUALIFIED, THE MILITARY. I could go on and on. Our economy is in CRISIS because of greedy people who are running big businesses. I am no expert but I took some economic class when I was in college. Please focus your ENERGY INTO POSITIVE THINGS. REMEMBER WE ARE STILL DEALING WITH IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.

    April 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Marc

    First, this may seem as a naive movement of the POTUS, but after this no one can say that he didn't tried to 'reach out' to the Wall Street folks, if he is going to make it and if there will be something productive coming out of it is something that can only be answered now by those same folks, the ball is with them now.
    Second, Glenn Koons as usual is ranting his baseless claims (Oh, what a surprise!). In the POTUS words: "But a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it." which means that a great and strong Capitalism-based economy does not excludes moral, ethics and laws. Got it?
    Oh, and 'Obama the Liar', the FED got profits with the so-called bail-outs...

    April 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. JC

    The pursuit of money at any cost to the other guy, betting on morgage funds that they put together and sold to investors to fail, and then when the melt down occurred bringing in the money and throwing the bash of the century with $500.00 per bottle bubbly. Those not wanting reform must be wanting the fox to remain in the hen house, and belong in jail with the rest of the crooks that took America to the brink of finanicial destruction. Has nothing to do with capitalism or free enterprise, it has to do with offering investments that are not really investments, have no real value and failing to fully disclosing the risks involved in those so called investments.

    Why are the reforms needed, good question, because once again those investors and market managers on Wall Street have proven that they are incapable of independently following the rules and guidelines setforth if money is involved. If money is involved they will do absolutely anything legal or illegal to gather in the dollar. Save the nation some money and simply build a jail around Wall Street, they they are within it when completed they belong there. The party with the other guys money is over, twice in a century the lack of regulation has almost destroyed this nation, no more. Rein in the crooks and if they can not be reined in, then put them in jail.

    April 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. John L. - NYC

    I agree that some regulation is in order but this is beyond hypocritical. A $30K per plate dinner he hosted for the financial community here in NYC in December with a "RSVP or else" invitation, his top donors among all the big banks (and yes, return the $$ to Goldman). Biting the hand that feeds him and largely ignoring the part that Washingtong steadily played in this over the past 15 years, but he couldn't care less.

    April 22, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Angie in PA

    For those of you claming the President is socialist pluuuze George Bush was a socialist taking from the tax payers to bailout Wall St after it was free due to his deregulations to do whatever it pleased, Thanks to them and Bush we almost had anothe great depression! so take your socialism and shove it where the sun dont shine!

    April 22, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. David Dillon

    Regulate them? Hang hem up by their skin and roast them over an open pit is more like it. They jailed Bernie Madoff, so America is supposed to be satisfied that something was done to the crooks, forgetting about the other 1,000 ponzi schemers out there. Now they are After Goldman Sachs, thinking that that prosecution will satisfy the public that something has been done about criminal banks/brokerages/lfinancial institutions. EVERY BROKER in the country is out to convince you to make trades for his own benefit, with a 5% exception rate at most. Virtually none of them truly care if you make money or not. This industry must be super-regulated, after being transformed entirely. I have been a broker and I know.

    April 22, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. daniel

    I've watched these message boards for some time and have come to this conclusion: the subject matter - could be the sex life of snowflakes or great Kings and the boogers they picked - really doesn't matter at all, the righties will use it to attack Pres. Obama. I saw righties on one message board turn the volcanic eruption in Iceland into an attack on Obama. Wow. What we get is one long, rolling, petty attack on the guy, with haters determined to drag him into any conversation, call him names, insult him, cheapen his accomplishments, no matter how ridiculous, tenuous or non-existent the connection.

    April 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Towfiq

    Those corrupt CEO's & CFO's took their bonuses and I lost my job. I don't care if they have to go to jail or if the govt. is going to regulate them. I think someone has to be the bad guy and clean things up. Mr. President, don't worry what those thieves & repubs. call you, please get something done. I don't want my friends to loose their Jobs. I don't want my daughter to go through what I went through.
    I know how painfull it is to be in this situation, those thieves don't know anything. So those of you who made money in my expense, please shut up.

    April 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. normajean

    I guess getting a president who is trying to clean up the mess and get the country back in shape really blew it for you guys making it big on the money floating around.. If you want to see a thug Glenn, go look in the mirror.You can sure use a lot of big words. Too bad you can't make them say anything important.

    April 22, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Stacie

    Nice to see our friends on the right are behaving like adults today. Check out their very mature comments. I feel like I'm in the third grade again.

    This common sense reform should get bipartisan support.

    April 22, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Why is it that Wall Street greed caused catastrophic damage to our economy only a few years AFTER the 1930 Roosevelt economic safe guard regulations were repealed by Glass-Steagall?

    And, why is it that prior to Glass-Steagall, our financial markets continued growth unhampered by the Wall Street greed which led to the massive 2007 government bail-outs?

    Government take-over or smart government?

    April 22, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Pchapin

    Glenn, name one business President Obama has taken over. You think the financial mess was casued by principled people on Wall St. really? You think they can regulate themselves honestly, really? They need to be watched over. If greed were not part of their SOP, perhaps not, but that is what really is the casue of this mess greed. President Obama has & never had any intention of taking over all the banks & financial institutions, however, as our President, (by the way the Chicago thug remark was uncalled for & untrue, the real thugs in this country come from Texas), however, it is his duty, to care for the citizens of this country who in essence pay his salary. without regulation & reform, this country would be no better off then slave countries of the Middle East & orient, where there is only 2 classes, the rich & the serfs or the slaves. If that's the kind of country you want, then perhaps you should move to Venezuela.

    April 22, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. TalkingpointsR4thosewhocantthink

    Please hush with your mindless drivel.
    Good thing the rest of the county doesnt think like you do. Heaven forbid we would have Mccain in office getting ready for WWIII

    Go suck up some more talking points at Rush Beck or Hannity or wherever the sheeple go to fill themselves up with crap.

    April 22, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Susan L.

    Ah, yes. The wingnut teabagging loons are out in full force. Listen to their cries of "tax & spend!", "socialist!", and other such lies and slander. If only the Loon season didn't last all year we might have more appreciation for their amusing calls.

    April 22, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. horse

    obama's THE MACK. repubs are just incompetent, racist sore losers.

    go, sarah! go!

    -horse

    April 22, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Republicans are a joke!

    I just love the republican ignorance and stubborness that exists within that party...u people are complete idiots!

    Thank you Mr. President for doing something about this! BOTH PARTIES have not been angels with Wall Street, but we all know which party has been more hand/hand in step with them, and it's time to put a stop to it!

    April 22, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    @ Glenn Koons

    Glen, you have been sniffing to much glue lately. NAME THE BUSINESS the President took over that was Un Constitutional. Unless you make over $250,000.00 a year show me how he has taxed you to death. The POTUS does not have to have knowledge of everything. That is why he has advisors, staff and a cabinet. Their combined knowledge is at his disposal. Now how do you figure he is a "THUG"? What is your definition of "THUG"? While I'm at it, also provide for me your definition of a "Socialist ".

    If you are thinking of the Auto Bail Outs as an Un Constitutional take over, you are mistaken. The Feds loaned them billions that they have repaid and the Feds gave additional financial support in the dorm of a stock purchase of the Auto stocks as collateral to be sold after the companies come out from under the bankruptcy and have their IPO to sell stock. That is a way of the government providing some risk protection against a potential loss of funds being given to the auto companies.

    If you are talking about the Bail Out of AIG and other WALL STREET firms, loans were made and many have been repaid. The government took a stock position to minimize the risk of loss of taxpayer funds being loaned to these companies. Now the government could have sat back and done nothing and then people like you would be sitting with nothing and screaming that "THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE PROTECTED YOU" Well it did. What this boils down to is the fact that regardless to what this administration did to avert this approaching depression and turn this economy around, people like you are not going to read and learn and come to understand what has happened. That means you will have to take the word of someone else and unfortunately you have chosen to listen to people who don't give a crap about this country. The only thing that natters to them is making more money off the backs of those that do not understand how this economy works.

    I strongly suggest you do some reading on your own and come to understand more about how our economy works before you call people Thugs, Socialist and other names. I hope you have the ability to comprehend what you read. If you do then alls not lost.

    April 22, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    Why isn't anyone saying it was a mistake to repeal Glass-Steagel and we need to have it back? It's step one to reform!

    April 22, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Malik

    Return what money?

    it has been said if you can take their money and vote against them then you are not much of a leader.

    and do you even know what the word socialist means

    if it wasn't for President Bush's reckless spending and lack of regulation on Wall street this would not even be a discussion. But go ahead with your 3rd grade mentality.

    Wall street came to President Bush for the bailout

    and yes President Obama does get to tell them what to do because they took our money and new reforms and more regulation is what is going to happen because wall st screwed up.

    don't like it don't let the door hit you on the way out

    April 22, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Conservative Democrat

    I read that the Republicans oppose this bill for 2 reasons: 1) on ideological grounds, ie., even though it helps the American people, regulation is against their beliefs, and 2) they say that the taxpayers will pay for the $50 billion shutdown fund, even though in reality, companies in the industry will pay for it. Boy. The Grand Old Parrot Party. Telling the same lies over and over and over and over and over and over.....

    April 22, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Conservative Democrat

    The people calling the President the Liar in Chief are the same people who thought the Schnook and the Crook were the best thing to happen to this country, ever.

    April 22, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Tim

    And to contribute to his campaign.

    April 22, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Tim

    "Obama will not slam Wall Street, aides say" see the ticker with this title.

    Obama also is not considering a VAT tax, aides say. Who are you going to believe, you're lying eyes who say Obama say he is considering a VAT tax on national television, or his aides who say he is not considering a VAT tax?

    It doesn't matter if you lie on a regular basis, as long as you can advance your agenda.

    April 22, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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