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Obama to Address Financial Reform

This morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced that President Obama will give a speech on financial regulatory reform from New York City on Thursday:

Almost two years after the crisis hit and almost one year after the Administration first laid out a detailed plan for holding Wall Street accountable and protecting consumers, he will call for swift Senate action. The crisis has already wiped out trillions of dollars in family wealth and cost over 8 million jobs. The President will also remind Americans what is at stake if we do not move forward with changing the rules of the road as a part of a strong Wall Street reform package.

Two years ago, during the presidential campaign, Obama spoke about the need for financial reform from Cooper Union — where he will deliver his remarks on Thursday. And he will need to deliver them well. The administration’s efforts to reform Wall Street have been hampered not just by Republican intransigence, but by messaging problems. Despite the popularity of reforming the banks, the administration has faltered in explaining just what it plans to do and why that is the best way to do it — in part because rather than using blunt regulatory instruments, such as a tax on financial transactions, the bill is a patchwork quilt of tripwires, oversight changes and complex rules. For more on the complexity of Wall Street reform, see Ryan Avent’s smart comments here.

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