Obama to Wall Street: Prepare for Reform
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2009 11:45 AM CDT
President Barack Obama arrives at JFK International Airport in New York, Monday, Sept. 14,2009, on his way to give a major economic speech at Federal Hall in Manhattan.   (AP Photo/David Karp)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – President Obama visited Wall Street’s historic Federal Hall today, on the anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse, to make the case for the financial regulatory reforms wending their way through Congress. He spoke of the need for “strong rules of the road” for the financial system. “History cannot be allowed to repeat itself,” he said, calling the effort “the most ambitious overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression.”

Obama then outlined his proposals, including a new consumer financial protection agency, and a more central regulatory authority, with the clout to govern big outfits like Lehman. To critics, he said, “Do you really believe that the absence of sound regulation one year ago was good for the financial system?” He also admonished Wall Street institutions that they have a responsibility to the taxpayers who bailed them out: “It is neither right nor responsible, after you’ve recovered, to shirk your obligations.”