WASHINGTON - Wall Street is not going to play as dominant a role in the economy as regulations reduce "some of the massive leveraging and the massive risk-taking that had become so common," President Barack Obama says.
The changes in the role of Wall Street and the huge profits that came from that risk-taking could mean other adjustments as well, Obama said in an interview in this week's New York Times Magazine.
"That means that more talent, more resources will be going to other sectors of the economy," he said. "I actually think that's healthy. We don't want every single college grad with mathematical aptitude to become a derivatives trader. We want some of them to go into engineering, and we want some of them to be going into computer design."
The Obama administration is trying to restore more regulations on the financial sector to avoid some of the risk-taking that helped cause the current economic problems.
"Wall Street will remain a big, important part of our economy, just as it was in the '70s and the '80s," he said. "It just won't be half of our economy."
Obama said he expects that government efforts to fix the economy will cause long-term changes.
"What I think will change, what I think was an aberration, was a situation where corporate profits in the financial sector were such a heavy part of our overall profitability over the last decade," he said.
Obama said he's confident that people will regain trust and confidence in the financial system, but he believes it will take time.
"I think it's important to understand that some of that wealth was illusory in the first place," he said.