UPDATE 2-Obama to hold bipartisan meeting on financial reform

* Obama seeks momentum on regulatory reform

* Meeting follows healthcare victory, nuclear summit
(adds comment from Senate Republican leader)

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON, April 9 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama will
hold a meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats on
Wednesday to discuss proposals to overhaul financial
regulation, a White House official said on Friday.

“Enacting financial reform has been a goal of President
Obama’s since well before taking office, and he will discuss
the choice he sees in this debate — whether to stand with the
American people or stand on the side of the status quo,” the
official said.

Obama has made passage of financial regulatory reform
legislation a high priority after achieving his top domestic
policy goal of overhauling the U.S. healthcare system.

“We believe momentum is on the side of real reform for the
American people and consumers,” the official said, noting that
the president had called during his State of the Union address
for regular meetings with bipartisan members of Congress.

Obama proposed a series of changes to the rules that govern
the financial industry in mid-2009. The House of
Representatives approved most of them in December, but the
Senate has yet to act, with many Republicans and lobbyists for
banks and Wall Street fighting to block reforms.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a
Democrat, has said he hopes his bill on the matter will be
debated on the Senate floor later this month.

Dodd says his bill ends the idea that some financial firms
are ‘too big to fail,’ creates a strong consumer protection
watchdog and addresses problems in the over-the-counter
derivative markets, credit rating agencies and debt
securitization, among other issues.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans
would likely be able to find common ground with Democrats on
the issue of ‘too big to fail’ financial institutions.

“On financial reform, to the extent that we can target it
at ‘too big to fail,’ I think we can potentially get an
agreement,” McConnell said, according to a spokesman.

Obama held a bipartisan meeting on healthcare earlier this
year after an election in Massachusetts took away Democrats’
“supermajority” in the Senate, which was seen at the time as a
potentially deadly blow to the president’s signature issue.

The summit did not create bipartisan support for the bill,
which was passed later without a single Republican vote, but it
succeeded in bringing momentum back to Obama’s side.

The Wednesday meeting on financial regulation will follow a
major international summit on nuclear proliferation that Obama
will host in Washington at the beginning of the week.

Stock Market

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

UPDATE 2-Obama to hold bipartisan meeting on financial reform