A Warning to Wall Street; A Plea to Congress « The Washington Independent
Appearing on Wall Street today, President Obama accused some of the nation’s financial institutions of “misreading” the economy’s nascent recovery, and urged Congress to pass strict new banking regulations to prevent the industry’s “reckless behavior” from spurring another economic collapse.
We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses. Those on Wall Street cannot resume taking risks without regard for consequences, and expect that next time, American taxpayers will be there to break their fall.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, have vowed to pass sweeping reforms of the finance industry later this year, including the creation of a new federal watchdog designed to protect consumers from the more abusive practices of the banks. But those proposals — yet to be unveiled — face a tough road ahead considering the other controversial items left for Democrats to tackle this year, namely health reform and climate change legislation.
Dodd, for his part, shot out a statement this afternoon saying that Obama “got it right.”
Failure to act leaves our economy at risk. We will not allow our efforts to be stalled by well financed special interests intent on keeping the status quo.
Meanwhile, the finance industry is spending upwards of $250,000 per day on lobbying and advertising to kill the Democrats’ reform plans even before they’re even unveiled, according to Common Cause, an advocate for campaign finance reform.
“Great speeches are no match for the bottomless pockets of big corporations looking to kill reform legislation,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “[I]t seems corporate industries can fight back almost any public desire for change by spending enough money on lobbying and campaign contributions.”