In the wake of the worst U.S. financial crisis in decades, the White House has delivered a series of proposals to Congress aimed at rewriting regulations that govern Wall Street. Along with many Democrats in Congress, the administration wants to rein in the huge over-the-counter derivatives market, install a new federal regulator to oversee financial products sold to consumers and bolster the government's ability to deal with widespread risks to the economy.
Speaking in New York, President Obama challenged financial companies to help in efforts to overhaul industry regulations. The President said the fact is that many of the firms that are now returning to prosperity owe a debt to the American people.
"Some in the financial industry are ignoring lessons from the crisis," Obama said. "That's why we need strong rules of the road to guard against the kind of systemic risks we have seen."
Many business groups, along with Republicans in Congress, are fighting the proposals, particularly the plan to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Lead by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, businesses say the new agency would create a vast new bureaucracy and reduce consumer options. The President said nothing could be further from the truth and urged Wall Street to embrace serious financial reform, not fight it.