President calls for Wall Street reform on anniversary of financial meltdown - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

President calls for Wall Street reform on anniversary of financial meltdown

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WASHINGTON. - A year after Lehman Brothers collapsed and started the tsunami that crashed over the U.S. economy, President Obama is pushing for tougher financial regulation on Wall Street.

"I want everybody here to hear my words: We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis," he said during a much heralded speech on Monday.

The president wants Congress to get stalled financial legislation moving again, but mostly he wants to remind the nation where we've been in the last year.

"Although I will never be satisfied while people are out of work and our financial system is weakened, we can be confident that the storms of the past two years are beginning to break," he said.

The president wants to begin winding down the government's involvement in the financial sector, while leaving behind a tougher regulatory firewall with the Federal Reserve taking on broad new powers.

The plan would also create a new consumer protection agency.

"I think it actually has more political than economic significance," says economist Greg Ip. "A lot of the powers that this agency would have are already resident in the existing regulators that we have."

Meanwhile, a new Associated Press poll shows seven in ten Americans fear the government hasn't taken the steps to prevent another meltdown.
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