Obama says Wall St. Reform bill protects consumers, taxpayers, investors, & U.S. economy

By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, July 15 – President Obama praised the Senate Thursday for passing the Wall Street Reform bill “in the face of a massive lobbying effort from the financial industry.” He also said he's grateful for the “three Republican senators who put politics and partisanship aside today to vote for this bill.”

Republicans charge that the bill's new regulations such as requiring exchange trading and full price disclosure for most derivatives will choke off credit and drive lucrative financial business overseas. Obama's response is that “unless your business model depends on cutting corners or bilking your customers, you have nothing to fear from this reform.”

Responding directly to House Minority Leader John Boehner (D-OH) who has already called for repealing the reform bill, Obama insisted that “America can’t afford to go backwards, and I think that’s how most Americans feel as well. We can’t afford another financial crisis just as we’re digging out from the last one.”

In his other remarks, the President said:

  • “The financial industry is central to our nation’s ability to grow, to prosper, to compete and to innovate. This reform will foster that innovation, not hamper it. It’s designed to make sure that everyone follows the same set of rules, so that firms compete on price and quality, not on tricks and traps. It demands accountability and responsibility from everybody. It provides certainty to everyone from bankers to farmers to business owners to consumers.”

  • “If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a student loan, a mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print. It’s a big step for most families, and one that’s often filled with unnecessary confusion and apprehension. As a result, many Americans are simply duped into hidden fees and loans they just can’t afford by companies who know exactly what they’re doing.”

  • “From now on, every American will be empowered with the clear and concise information you need to make financial decisions that are best for you. This bill will crack down on abusive practices and unscrupulous mortgage lenders. It will reinforce the new credit card law we passed banning unfair rate hikes, and ensure that folks aren’t unwittingly caught by overdraft fees when they sign up for a checking account. It will give students who take out college loans clear information and make sure lenders don’t cheat the system. And it will ensure that every American receives a free credit score if they are denied a loan or insurance because of that score.”

  • “Because of this reform, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes. There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts – period. If a large financial institution should ever fail, this reform gives us the ability to wind it down without endangering the broader economy.”

  • “Because of reform, the kind of complex, backroom deals that helped trigger this financial crisis will finally be brought into the light of day.”

  • “In short, Wall Street reform will bring greater security to folks on Main Street – to families who are looking to buy their first home or send their kids to college; to taxpayers who shouldn’t have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes or irresponsibility; to small businesses, community banks and credit unions who play by the rules; to shareholders and investors who want to see their companies grow and thrive.”

Obama concluded by promising to rebuild the U.S. economy “on a firmer, stronger foundation for economic growth.” He explained “That’s why we invested in renewable energy that’s currently creating new jobs all across America. That’s why we’re reforming our education system so that our workers can compete in the global economy. That’s why we passed health reform that will lower costs for families and businesses. And that’s why I’m about to sign Wall Street reform into law – to protect consumers and lay the foundation for a stronger and safer financial system.”

For coverage of the Senate's 60-39 vote for the financial reform bill, go to: www.agri-pulse.com/20100715H_Financial_Bill_Passed.asp. For more on the Senate floor debate before the vote, go to: www.agri-pulse.com/20100715H_Financial_Bill_Debate.asp

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