President Obama will today ask the banks to call off their "furious efforts" to block his proposed financial regulatory overhaul. "I believe that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of our country, but in the best interest of our financial sector," he says in prepared remarks. The goal, a White House rep tells the Washington Post is to remind people "what's at stake" in the politically-charged debate.
"I believe in a strong financial sector that helps people to raise capital and get loans and invest their savings," Obama will say in a speech in New York. "But a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it. That is what happened too often in the years leading up to the crisis. Some on Wall Street forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is family looking to buy a house, pay for an education, open a business, or save for retirement." The speech will echo a talk he gave three years ago at the same venue, Cooper Union. "We failed to guard against practices that all too often rewarded financial manipulation instead of productivity and sound business practices,” he said then. It's a message that he's returned to throughout his career, notes the New York Times.