Obama Sends Warning to Big Banks

President Obama is proposing banking reforms that he hopes will prevent any future meltdowns like the one that hit the economy almost 18 months ago. With members of his financial team behind him, President Obama said "never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail."

The President proposes limits on the risks major financial firms can take by prohibiting them from owning or investing in hedge funds, private equity funds or other proprietary trading operations.  President Obama says he is not against banks investing completely, they just need to be responsible when doing it. "If financial firms want to trade for profit, that's something they're free to do. Indeed, doing so responsibly is a good thing for the markets and the economy," he said on Thursday, "but these firms should not be allowed to run these hedge funds and private equities funds while running a bank backed by the American people."

The second part of his message would limit the size of the large financial institutions. President Obama urged both parties in Congress to work with the White House on this proposal to get these reforms passed. His message to the Wall Street lobbyists who are descending on Capitol Hill to block these reforms is "if these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have."