Obama pushes Wall Street reform with populism

By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON, May 15 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama on
Saturday called for swift Senate action on a sweeping overhaul
of Wall Street rules to “secure America’s economic future” as a
reform bill moves into the decisive stage next week.

With months to go before November’s pivotal congressional
elections, Obama pressed a populist theme of helping the “folks
on Main Street” as he urged approval of tighter regulations to
prevent a repeat of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Obama’s Democrats and opposition Republicans are continuing
to haggle over a slew of amendments, but the bill could come up
for a vote in the U.S. Senate by the end of next week and is
widely expected to pass.

“The reform bill being debated in the Senate will not solve
every problem in our financial system — no bill could,” Obama
said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

“But what this strong bill will do is important, and I urge
the Senate to pass it as soon as possible, so we can secure
America’s economic future in the 21st century.”

The political climate in Washington has turned in favor of
the proposed legislation — which would mark the broadest
revamp of the U.S. financial system since the 1930s — and
against industry lobbyists trying to weaken any changes.

Republicans acknowledge a need for reform but are seeking
to trim back some Democratic proposals they see as government
overreach into the private sector.

Still, Republicans appear increasingly reluctant to run the
political risk of blocking passage and being painted as aligned
with Wall Street in an election year.

The stakes are also high for Obama. With U.S. unemployment
just below 10 percent, Americans are anxious about the
country’s finances, nudging his approval ratings to around 50
percent and threatening Democratic losses in the mid-term
elections.

Seeking to tap into public anger at Wall Street excesses
blamed for the recent financial crisis, Obama insisted
financial reform would “help stop predatory practices.”

He said reform would bolster community banks that have
operated by the rules by creating an “even playing field” with
larger lenders and would help safeguard small businesses from
ever again being victimized by Wall Street risk-taking.

“We’ll make our financial system more transparent by
bringing the kinds of complex, back room deals that helped
trigger this crisis into the light of day. We’ll prevent banks
from taking on so much risk that they could collapse and
threaten our whole economy,” Obama said.

“Put simply, Wall Street reform will bring greater security
to folks on Main Street,” he said.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Wall Street
reform bill in December. Whatever the Senate produces will have
to be merged with the House bill before a final package can be
sent to Obama to be signed into law, possibly by mid-year.

Investment Research
(Editing by Paul Simao)

Obama pushes Wall Street reform with populism