Obama to tout financial overhaul as good for economy

* Obama: consumer protections “good for the economy”

* Audience of about 400 for bill signing

By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON, July 21 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. President Barack Obama
on Wednesday will tout the broader economic benefits of new
consumer financial protections when he signs into law the most
sweeping financial regulatory overhaul since the Great
Depression.

“These reforms represent the strongest consumer financial
protections in history,” Obama will say, according to an
advance excerpt of his speech released by the White House.

“These protections will be enforced by a new consumer
watchdog with just one job: looking out for people – not big
banks, not lenders, not investment houses – in the financial
system. Now, that’s not just good for consumers, that’s good
for the economy,” he will say.

The Senate last week gave final approval to far-reaching
legislation sought by the Obama administration to tighten rules
on Wall Street and across the financial industry in an effort
to avoid a repeat of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

With Republicans poised for big gains in the November
congressional elections, Obama’s Democrats are eager to show
voters that they have tamed an industry that dragged the
economy into its deepest recession in 70 years.

But it remains unclear whether Obama can gain much traction
from the legislative victory with Americans still anxious about
high unemployment and ballooning deficits.

The bill won Democrats few friends on Wall Street as
wealthy donors have started to steer more campaign
contributions to Republicans, who voted overwhelmingly against
the reform package.

Obama will deliver remarks and sign the bill at 11:30 a.m.
(1530 GMT) at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington.

It includes creation of a new Bureau of Consumer Financial
Protection, which will regulate products ranging from credit
cards to mortgages. The administration considered it one of the
most critical parts of the bill.

Obama’s audience of around 400 will be made of people
“instrumental in passing this historic legislation” —
including consumer advocates, business leaders, state and local
officials and top lawmakers — as well as Americans affected by
the financial crisis, a White House official said.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: ) CEO Brian Moynihan, Citigroup
Inc’s (C.N: ) CEO Vikram Pandit, and Morgan Stanley’s (MS.N: )
James Gorman all received invitations, people familiar with the
matter said. Pandit is the only CEO scheduled to go, a person
familiar with the matter said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: ) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon was
one of the few major bank heads not invited, a spokeswoman for
the second-largest U.S. bank said. There was no immediate
comment from the White House.

Dimon once enjoyed a close relationship with Obama, but he
later emerged as a vocal critic of the administration’s efforts
to reform the U.S. banking industry (Read more about the banking industry recovery.).

Stock Today

(Additional reporting by Maria Aspan, Elinor Comlay, Joe
Rauch, Steve Eder, Dan Wilchins and Patricia Zengerle, editing
by Alan Elsner)

Obama to tout financial overhaul as good for economy