December 13th, 2009
11:06 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama adviser slams Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Larry Summers took issue Sunday with complaints from Wall Street about Democratic plans for more financial regulation."]
Washington (CNN) – A top economic adviser to President Obama said Sunday that Wall Street should not be resisting Democratic efforts to impose new financial regulations in the wake of last year’s financial crisis.

“It was irresponsible risk-taking that brought the economy to the brink of collapse,” Lawrence Summers, the Director of Obama’s National Economic Council, said about Wall Street Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “It was their irresponsiblilty in many cases that brought the economy to collapse. And, frankly ... it wasn’t the first time.

Watch: Summers slams Wall Street

“And they don’t get, in some cases, that they wouldn’t be where they are today - and they certainly wouldn’t be paying the bonuses they’re paying today - if their government hadn’t taken extraordinary actions. Extraordinary actions, not frankly with the motivation of helping them, but with the motivation of helping the economy but of which they were nonetheless the beneficiary.”

Summers also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that it was “wrong” for Wall Street to be “complaining about serious regulation directed at making sure this never happens again.”

“For firms that have benefited from taxpayer support to be complaining about the government burdening them is, frankly, a bit rich,” Summers also said Sunday.

After receiving so much help from the public in the form of support from the federal government in the past year, Summers said “now the financial community’s got to think about its obligations to the country.”

Summers identified preventing another near-collapse of the entire financial system, improving the flow of credit, preventing foreclosures, and improving lending to small businesses as areas the president might discuss with the heads of some of the nation’s largest banks in a meeting set for Monday.

“The president is going to focus on what the bankers can do for their country, what obligations they should feel,” Summers told King.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. German,Irish American

    len- "trying to pick apart the White House?" It is just to easy to pick apart this White House, since Obama and his fabricated life have been nothing but lies since he first stepped on the national stage. Perhaps if the media had vetted him like they did EVERY other candidate, you wouldn't be so surprised that he is such an incompetant President.

    December 13, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. andrew

    I find it funny when folks in DC complain about other being irresponsible with money. The folks in DC are the real criminals.

    December 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    Obama gave Wall Street unlimited funds from the taxpayers, now they are saying that Wall Street is the bad guy.
    Which is it?
    More of the same from this administration. They are forgainst everything

    December 13, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. b franklin

    All of you Dem apologists seem to forget that your party has had control of congress now for better than 3 years. Yet you put all of the blame on Republicans. I don't know that it is a requirement to have your facts straight before posting on a site like this, but it should be common sense to know a little of what your talking about.

    December 13, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Peter s

    Wall Street= ENRON only the modern enron is bigger then the original!!

    December 13, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Hugo

    Sorry, I keep seeing these posts bashing Wall Street decrying about how they have repeatedly raped the American citizen. Please enlighten us on how they raped the American citizen when it was Washington that gave them our tax dollars to do as they saw fit? Who raped us and who is so stupid as to give billions of dollars to Wall Street without some type of oversight stipulations on the money? The posts indicate who the stupid ones are...

    December 13, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. TCM

    Dodd, Obama, Reid and Pelosi – are the reason for the financial meltdown...coupled with the fatso Barney Frank and his lispy explanations....and now this liberal puke summers wants to criticize wallstreet? Maybe I'm wrong, but the wallstreet weinies are without a doubt, there to make's no secret. However, the politicians are elected to SERVE the, if anyone should be angry, it's the public, and we should be wanting the resignations of obama, pelosi, reid, dodd...frank...and the rest of those who sold our country down the river for a self-serving liberal this pace, we won't have a country by the end of Obama's term, especially after he relinquishes control to the NWO created on 10 Nov....and voids our constitution....yeah..we all have reason for concern. The Bilderbergs, Kissinger, and other unscrupulous thugs intentionally selected Obama for this position, and ensured his victory....why? Liberal, half white, half black, islamic background...Christian all fits and wreaks of conspiracy to bring down out nation. Oust the encumbents!

    December 13, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Republicans, Democrats...SHUT UP. I am sick of your finger pointing and bickering. Until we can stop the crap, we will not be able to accept our part of the blame. Yes, our part. Everyone is responsible, and until everyone can do this, we will not be able to look at what needs to be done and fix it. How can you expect Wall Street to do this when you can't do it yourself? We are breeding an environment where no one accepts personal responsibility anymore.

    December 13, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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