President Obama today in New York will call for five “key proposals” that must be included in strong financial reform legislation, the White House said. Obama will say taxpayers must be protected if a large financial institutions fails and will call for “new transparency” to the system of financial markets and consumer financial protections.
The White House said he will say any legislation must include the “Volcker Rule,” which sets limits on the size of banks and the risks that banking institutions can take and he also will say the measure must give investors and pension holders a bigger role in saying who manages the companies via “say on pay” reforms.
TPMDC obtained a brief excerpt of the remarks Obama has planned for this morning’s speech at Cooper Union, which comes as the Senate nears a bipartisan deal on a measure our sources say could net 75 votes when all is said and done. Read them after the jump.
Excerpts from Obama’s speech at Cooper Union:
One of the most significant contributors to this recession was a financial crisis as dire as any we’ve known in generations. And that crisis was born of a failure of responsibility – from Wall Street to Washington – that brought down many of the world’s largest financial firms and nearly dragged our economy into a second Great Depression.
It was that failure of responsibility that I spoke about when I came to New York more than two years ago – before the worst of the crisis had unfolded. I take no satisfaction in noting that my comments have largely been borne out by the events that followed. But I repeat what I said then because it is essential that we learn the lessons of this crisis, so we don’t doom ourselves to repeat it. And make no mistake, that is exactly what will happen if we allow this moment to pass – an outcome that is unacceptable to me and to the American people.
As I said two years ago on this stage, I believe in the power of the free market. I believe in a strong financial sector that helps people to raise capital and get loans and invest their savings. 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. What happens here has real consequences across our country.
A comprehensive plan to achieve these reforms has passed the House of Representatives. A Senate version is currently being debated, drawing on the ideas of Democrats and Republicans. Both bills represent significant improvement on the flawed rules we have in place today, despite the furious efforts of industry lobbyists to shape them to their special interests. I am sure that many of those lobbyists work for some of you. But I am here today because I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort. I am here because 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. And I am here to explain what reform will look like, and why it matters.