Obama presses Wall Street in renewed regulatory reform push

08:56, April 23, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, April 9, 2010. (Xinhua File Photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama urged Wall Street to support his financial reforms that will enhance accountability of the financial sector during a speech delivered in New York on Thursday.

Speaking at the Cooper Union College in lower Manhattan, a few blocks away from Wall Street, Obama said that financial reforms are not only in the best interest of the country, but in the best interest of our financial sector.

"I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort," he said.

Recapping what he discussed in the last speech given at Cooper Union in 2008 before the crisis unfolded, Obama emphasized that Wall Street reform is "an absolutely essential part of the foundation for economic growth," given the importance of the financial sector.

In his latest effort to promote financial reforms for public support, Obama started travelling around the country this week, the same time as the Senate is debating on the financial regulation reform bill.

Obama said the bill would create a way to protect the financial system, the broader economy, and taxpayers in the event that a large financial firm begins to fail.

Obama pointed out that there currently is no process designed to contain the failure of a Lehman Brothers or any of the largest and most interconnected financial firms, and a system is needed to shut these firms down with the least amount of collateral damage to innocent people and businesses.

To tackle this issue, Obama said, the financial regulation reform bill would enact the Volcker Rule, which places some limits on the size of banks and the kinds of risks that banking institutions can take.

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