During a Democratic National Committee fundraiser tonight in New York City, President Obama lectured the financial industry not to forget the economic meltdown that happened just a year ago and to join with him to pass the necessary financial reforms.
Read his remarks on this topic below:
"Now's the time to make sure that we put new rules of the road in our financial sector to prevent the kind of abuse and excess on wall street that led us to this crisis. You understood that. And you also understood that insurance companies, and the banks, and the oil companies might not be crazy about some of these changes, that they were doing just fine under the status quo. So nobody thought this was going to be easy. We talked about this during the campaign.
"And while I'm in New York, I want to stress something about this financial reform effort. The finance industry is essential to a healthy economy and to the well-being of our economy. That is why we stepped in to prevent a collapse that would have had far reaching and devastating consequences for the American people. Steps by the way that were not wildly popular and still aren't among the American people, but it was the right thing to do. But we also know we should never again have to face potential calamity because of the reckless speculation and deceptive practices and short-sightedness and self-interestedness from a few.
"So if there are members of the financial industry in the audience today, I will ask that you join with us in passing what are necessary reforms (applause) - don't fight them, join us. This is important for our country. And in the long run, it will be good for the financial industry to have a level playing field in which everybody knows the rules and everybody knows that the rules will be enforced. And people are repeating not by how confusing you can make things, and how to even avoid rules, but competing because you're offering innovative good products that are helping grow the American economy and put people to work out on main street.
"Whenever I hear some folks who have just been taking taxpayer bailout money suddenly say 'what, what, what do you want from me?' When I hear stories about small businesses and medium-sized businesses not being able to get loans. Despite wall street being backed very properly, that tells me that people aren't thinking about their obligations, our mutual obligations to each other and the fact that we're in this together."