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Obama moves to close deal on financial reform

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Apr 23, 2010
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    Speech urges Street to learn from crisis; Senate debate likely next week

    Obama calls for Wall Street reform

    Part rebuke, part olive branch and part sales pitch, President Barack Obama's speech Thursday exhorting bankers to "join us, instead of fighting us" on financial reform appeared to have won over some on Wall Street.
    The speech was the closing argument in Obama’s two-year effort to enact regulations that would better control financial risk-taking, protect consumers and develop an orderly system of shutting down banks that become “too big to fail.” Debate on a final version of the bill could come as early as next week.
    "(I) am here today because I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort," Obama told an audience that included some of Wall Street's top executives. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn were there, along with top managers from Credit Suisse, Bank of America, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan
    Blankfein's company was charged last Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission with civil fraud over the way it structured and marketed to investors a product linked to subprime mortgages. Blankfein and one of his traders, Fabrice Tourre, will testify Tuesday before a Senate panel examining the causes behind the financial crisis, a repeat of which Obama said reform would prevent.
    "One of the most significant contributors to this recession was a financial crisis as dire as any we've known in generations," Obama said in the historic Great Hall of New York's Cooper Union. "And that crisis was born of a failure of responsibility — from Wall Street to Washington — that brought down many of the world's largest financial firms and nearly dragged our economy into a second Great Depression."
    It was an echo of his first Cooper Union speech two years ago, when then-candidate Obama argued that the dismantling of financial regulations in the 1980s and '90s “encouraged a winner take all, anything goes environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.”
    Six months later, the financial markets all but shut down after the collapse of Bear Stearns sparked the biggest financial panic in a century.
    "I take no satisfaction in noting that my comments have largely been borne out by the events that followed,” Obama said Thursday. “But I repeat what I said then because it is essential that we learn the lessons of this crisis, so we don't doom ourselves to repeat it."
    Despite the ongoing partisan debate over financial reform in Washington, the audience responded warmly to the president's speech. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36718600/ns/business-eye_on_the_economy/