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Renewing his call for Congress to move forward on Wall Street reform, this week President Obama, citing the comeback from our economic crisis and the recent debacle at JPMorgan, says:

That’s why it’s so important that Members of Congress stand on the side of reform, not against it; because we can’t afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight; where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy. We can’t afford to go back to that brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics. Not after the American people have worked so hard to come back from this crisis.

We’ve got to keep moving forward.

And the president points out the obvious:

So unless you run a financial institution whose business model is built on cheating consumers, or making risky bets that could damage the whole economy, you have nothing to fear from Wall Street reform.
Left unsaid—sadly—was, "or if you count on big money donations from Wall Street."

At any rate:

That’s what Wall Street reform is all about – making this economy stronger for you. And we’re going to keep working – to recover every job lost to the recession; to build an economy where hard work and responsibility are once again rewarded; to restore an America where everyone has a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.
The president concludes with a request that you call or write your representatives in Congress and urge them to stop screwing around and do their job. So get busy.

Complete transcript below the fold.

For the past three and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from an historic economic crisis – one caused by breathtaking irresponsibility on the part of some on Wall Street who treated our financial system like a casino. Not only did that behavior nearly destroy the financial system – it cost our economy millions of jobs, hurt middle-class families, and left taxpayers holding the bag.

Since then, we’ve recovered taxpayer dollars that were used to stabilize troubled banks. And we’ve put in place Wall Street reform with smarter, tougher, commonsense rules that serve one primary purpose: to prevent a crisis like that from ever happening again. And yet, for the past two years, too many Republicans in Congress and an army of financial industry lobbyists have actually been waging an all-out battle to delay, defund, and dismantle Wall Street reform.

Recently, we’ve seen why we can’t let that happen. We found out that a big mistake at one of our biggest banks resulted in a two billion dollar loss. While that bank can handle a loss of that size, other banks may not have been able to. And without Wall Street reform, we could have found ourselves with the taxpayers once again on the hook for Wall Street’s mistakes.

That’s why it’s so important that Members of Congress stand on the side of reform, not against it; because we can’t afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight; where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy. We can’t afford to go back to that brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics. Not after the American people have worked so hard to come back from this crisis.

We’ve got to keep moving forward.

We’ve got to finish the job of implementing this reform and putting these rules in place.

These new rules say that, if you’re a big bank or financial institution, you now have to hold more cash on hand so that if you make a bad decision you pay for it, not the taxpayers.

You have to write out a “living will” that details how you’ll be wound down if you do fail.

The new law takes away big bonuses and paydays from failed CEOs, while giving shareholders a say on executive salaries.

And for the first time in our nation’s history, we have in place a consumer watchdog whose sole job is to look out for working families by protecting them from deceptive and unfair practices.

So unless you run a financial institution whose business model is built on cheating consumers, or making risky bets that could damage the whole economy, you have nothing to fear from Wall Street reform. Yes, it discourages big banks and financial institutions from making risky bets with taxpayer-insured money. And it encourages them to do things that actually help the economy – like extending loans to entrepreneurs with good ideas, to middle-class families who want to buy a home, to students who want to pursue higher education.

That’s what Wall Street reform is all about – making this economy stronger for you. And we’re going to keep working – to recover every job lost to the recession; to build an economy where hard work and responsibility are once again rewarded; to restore an America where everyone has a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

I believe the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history; that businesses are the engine of growth; that risk-takers and innovators should be celebrated. But I also believe that at its best, the free market has never been a license to take whatever you want, however you can get it. Alongside our entrepreneurial spirit and rugged individualism, America only prospers when we meet our obligations to one another; and to future generations.

If you agree with me, let your Member of Congress know. Tell them to spend less time working to undermine rules that are there to protect the economy, and spend more time actually working to strengthen the economy. Thanks and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How the fuck do you reform (7+ / 0-)

    something in a body that owns a large portion of its members?

    God. Do I wish I knew.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:34:54 AM PDT

    •  I'll call though. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pescadero Bill, divineorder

      But man is being an American who isn't rich depressing these days.

      I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

      by LeftHandedMan on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only positive I see in our modern democracy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg, Russgirl

        is that when you're in that voting booth, about 60% of the votes you cast actually count for something. Usually way down ticket.

        Other then that, if you ain't got money, you're out of the sphere of influence. 90% of what goes on in Congress happens without a care for what 99% of Americans will think of it.

        Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:44:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I've heard most of our tax money is (0+ / 0-)

          controlled by our county commissioner. Do you know who yours is?

          There is so much money in the country it takes very little from each of us to be able to afford to waste money on the Pentagon, Medicare and Social Security.

          So pay attention to the down ticket races.

          And contact your legislators. A very large amount of letters/emails/phone calls will help. They have to run for re-election someday.

          And as I frequently say, "Remember California Governor Meg Whitman?"

          Neither does anyone else.

  •  There will be no reform because the government (6+ / 0-)

    is corrupted by big money donors that don't want reform.

    What the president is doing is begging Congress to resist the corruption. That's like asking the child to resist the candy while you're not it the room.

    Congress is corrupt - period. I can't see it any other way.

    Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

    by Pescadero Bill on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:39:07 AM PDT

    •  Uhh.. wait.. Didn't we already do reform? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      squarewheel, Russgirl, TimmyB

      Yeah.. over 2 years ago.. Dodd-Frank..
      I believe it was titled:

      Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

      To promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability
      and transparency in the financial system, to end ‘‘too big to fail’’, to protect
      the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive
      financial services practices, and for other purposes.
      What bullshit.. so, let's do it again????
      •  So much drivel. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerry J

        Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:16:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pescadero Bill, Russgirl, Amber6541

        ...that the lobbyists have  been doing everything that they can to slow down and weaken implementation of those laws.

        And since the Congress changed parties last year, it's been doing everything it can to help those lobbyists on the delays.  

        This is just one more reason why we need a Democratic majority in the house again -- at least they won't be trying to further weaken the existing legislation.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:17:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then why bother having laws? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snoopydawg, TimmyB

          If no one will ever enforce them?

          •  Laws today are for us "little people" not 1%! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Amber6541, TimmyB

            BushCo was like a bull in a china shop... destroying all in it's path and leaving lots of CRAP behind for good Americans to clean up.

            This has got to change.

          •  Laws of this sort... (0+ / 0-)

            ...don't spontaneously enforce themselves.

            A structure needs to be set up -- regulatory agency, funding, etc.  And it's the process of setting this stuff up that the Republican congress has been doing everything it can do to impede.

            You make it sound like the President doesn't want to bother with the effort to make this happen, which certainly isn't true.  After all, it took a recess appointment on his part to even get the leadership in place for the consumer protection agency.

            Conversely, when you say "why bother because of the obstruction", then you're giving the Republicans exactly what they want.

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Sat May 19, 2012 at 11:08:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Weak Implementation (0+ / 0-)

          Because D-F wasn't really so much legislation as a set of not-sharply-defined objectives, which Congress then passed off to the (unelected) bureaucracy to write rules for. Shockingly, surprisingly, unforeseeably, and unexpectedly, the bureaucracy, which depends on those it regulates to suggest regulations, moves at tortoise-like speed. As for the hope placed in having a Democratic majority again, I don't see it—a Democratic majority with the moral force of a still-fresh crisis and a popular president passed D-F in the first place. What would be better this time around?

      •  Who'da thunk it? (0+ / 0-)

        There is nothing more exciting than the truth. - Richard P. Feynman

        by pastol on Sat May 19, 2012 at 09:43:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ...because DIY always requires a hardware store (0+ / 0-)
    We can’t afford to go back to that brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:42:33 AM PDT

  •  If I could speak to Jamie Dimon (5+ / 0-)

    I would say:

    I appreciate that you took responsibility for the error (mild term) and massive loss.  That is a tiny step in the right direction.

    That is not enough...not nearly...

    I almost wish I could haunt your dreams with pictures, images, stories of the millions of people you helped to make homeless, the children you caused to go hungry, the still jobless who live in despair because of your failures...

    If you do not support a return to the principles of Glass-Stegall, you need to go...now...

    •  if I was the pres (4+ / 0-)

      what dimon would be hearing is.  " You have the right to remain silent, anything and everything you say may be used....

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:52:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, right. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg, Russgirl, TimmyB

        Regarding Jamie Dimon:

        He was also one of President Barack Obama’s most prominent Wall Street friends, a rare high-profile Democrat in an industry dominated by low-tax, free-market Republicans. Dimon spent several years in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, where he ran Bank One after a nasty breakup with his one-time mentor.

        He got to know Rahm Emanuel. He hired Bill Daley as a top executive before Daley became Obama’s second chief of staff. He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democrats.

        Obama returned all the love, at least at first. Dimon made at least 16 trips to the White House and met at least three times with Obama — a bond that allowed the president to appear business-friendly. The New York Times in 2009 called Dimon Obama’s “favorite banker.”

        Now, it does seem that their relationship has cooled SIGNIFICANTLY since then, but still....
    •  It's like they're messing with the dynamics of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, Amber6541

      perfect economic storm.

      Another crashed economy with high unemployment, a diminished or no social safety net, and the let-them-eat-cake plutocrats (aristocrats) flaunting their lifestyle.

      Jokers like Dimon just don't seem to be taking that seriously.

      Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

      by Pescadero Bill on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:52:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Banks.....The Smartest Guys in the Room....until (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Russgirl

    they're not. They'll fuck up again.

  •  what a bunch of shit (6+ / 0-)

    is the president was serious, he would have had his justice dept raiding the big banks, locking up thousands of bankers, you know, upholding the law.

    This is just more empty talk.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:51:20 AM PDT

    •  Not one bank executive (4+ / 0-)

      went to jail.. lost his home.. was made to make reparations.. (except maybe that one extremely tanned guy (sorry..can't remember his name) who was made to pay a fine in a sweetheart deal with the SEC)

      No.. this administration gave them bonuses! and let them keep their jobs!

      Now, we need reform!

    •  What? The President said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, TimmyB
      So unless you run a financial institution whose business model is built on cheating consumers, or making risky bets that could damage the whole economy, you have nothing to fear from Wall Street reform. Yes, it discourages big banks and financial institutions from making risky bets with taxpayer-insured money. And it encourages them to do things that actually help the economy – like extending loans to entrepreneurs with good ideas, to middle-class families who want to buy a home, to students who want to pursue higher education.
      What else could he have said?

      "Encourages" and "discourages,"   what could be wrong with that?

      Sounds good to me.

      And Elizabeth Warren did just warn  that millions are being spent on lobbying and donating to campaigns in order to water down the law.  She also says we need a modern Glass-Steagall .  So action is needed for sure.

      So yeah, I believe that we do have a part to play in this game, should make the calls.

      But we also need the President to step up as well, and wish that he had included in his address announcement of a new approach, since we have know for some time nowthat the one the Administration is using is not working and  needs to change.     and that might includereplacing the AG and ramping up enforcement personnel .

      The President said 'Nothing to fear' for the good guys, but  it seems pretty clear that bad behavior continues because, in fact, the CEO's and other officers all have nothing due to fear due to the lack of enforcement   --specifically in regards to prosecuting individual banksters.

      What else could the DOJ do, for example?

      Let us count the ways DOJ has typically failed to pursue leads against the elite officers whose frauds drove this crisis: they have not used grand juries, they have not issued civil subpoenas, they have not used electronic surveillance, they have not used undercover investigators, they have not “wired” cooperating witnesses who they have “flipped”, they have not appealed for whistleblowers to come forward, they have not called elite witnesses before grand juries, they have not convened grand juries, they have not sent FBI agents to their homes or offices to conduct formal interviews, they have not retained expert witnesses or consultants with expertise in accounting control fraud, they have not demanded that the banking regulatory agencies produce high quality criminal referrals, they have not asked those agencies to “detail” examiners and other skilled staff to the FBI to serve as internal experts, they have not trained AUSAs, special agents, and banking regulators in how to detect, investigate and prosecute accounting control frauds, they have not prosecuted where other federal agencies, after investigation, have charged that financial elites committed fraud, and they have not flipped intermediate officers and gone up the chain of command, they have not assigned remotely adequate staff to investigate and prosecute frauds, they have not assigned any meaningful number of their staff to investigate the elite frauds, and they have not made strong, consistent demands that Congress fund adequate staff to end the ability of financial elites to commit fraud with impunity.
      So thanks for the encouragement to action, Mr. President. Will do.

      Looking forward to some perp walks soon, which would surely  give you a nice bump up in the polls!

  •  executive orders (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfcouple, Russgirl, TimmyB

    Bush, the simple, issued dubious executive orders to get what he was told to do--why can't our smart president do the same?  Why doesn't he do recess appointments immediately--his party controls the senate calendar and can easily go into recess?  When in a street fight for your life, you can't be the only one being polite--how about moving Treasury money out of JPMorgan/Chase?  It's what Bush would do--and he was our worst p[resident ever.  At least he understood that a president has more power than the opponent party can dictate.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:00:50 AM PDT

  •  Regulation protects ethical companies (3+ / 0-)

    He needs to reduce this to a single sentence and repeat often.

    Well designed regulation is PRO-BUSINESS.

    Regulation levels the playing field and protects companies who wish to act ethically from unfair competition from those who don't.  

    Good regulation protects ETHICAL companies from collusion by competitors

    Good regulation protects ETHICAL companies from being at a cost disadvantage when competitors dump toxic waste and pollute, use unsafe materials, produce defective products, engage in excessively risky bets.  

    We need to change the meme:  
    Good regulation is good for business.

    Replace the republi-con obstructionists!

  •  so I guess he'll be firing Geithner (6+ / 0-)

    and bringing in a sec of the treasury who actually believes in reform, right ?

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:13:29 AM PDT

  •  Geithner replaced by Krugman in the second term! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, divineorder, organicus
    That’s why it’s so important that Members of Congress stand on the side of reform, not against it; because we can’t afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight; where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy. We can’t afford to go back to that brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics. Not after the American people have worked so hard to come back from this crisis.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:16:17 AM PDT

  •  Uh, Mr. President? We could use some enforcement. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J, Russgirl, TimmyB

    Look, I know it's not popular to brings facts into the discussion of President Obama around here. But still, give some of us time to adjust to the New Left Formula. Until it kicks in, I'm going to throw up from time to time.

    The Department of Justice. Mr. President. Enforces laws. It won't matter what reform Congress passes if the POTUS won't enforce the laws already on the books.

    Oh wait, this is an election year. I get it. You want us disgruntled liberals to cheer up.

    Clap. Clap. Clap.

    Happy now?

  •  Wall Street reform; it's a good thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    Every politician who has the best interests of their constituency at heart should support Wall Street reform.  Consumers who are protected from predatory banks are more likely to make wiser decisions and ultimately have more confidence in financial institutions.  And consumers who make wiser decisions generally have better credit ratings and more purchasing power, which is good for the overall economy.

    Every law-abiding bank, credit union, and financial institution that seeks to treat their customers fairly should also support reforms so that the disreputable institutions can be forced to play by the same rules or weeded out entirely.

  •  They don't care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, organicus

    Multinational corporations do not have the best interests of the U.S. or Americans in mind anymore than they have the interests of China or Ethiopia and their citizens in mind.  While many of these multinational companies may be headquarted in the U.S., they see themselves as a global entity organized on behalf of their shareholders without a need for loyalty or responsibilty to any country or government or citizenry.  

    It's not that these multinational corporations don't understand the logic of the public wanting sensible regulatory reform that will protect American consumers and ensure that there's not another economic collapse, they just don't care.

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