We face the fourth quarter with hopes of reform and rebuilding paired with an obvious and earned distrust for the government, Wall Street and the mortgage and banking systems. Between bankruptcies, bailouts and layoffs, some feel that we hit the bottom of the worst economic storm since the Great Depression, and that the next step is to make sure we don’t let history repeat itself.
President Barack Obama threw stern words at Wall Street this morning, reminding it of the irresponsible behaviors that drove the U.S. into recession and warning not to fall back into reckless habits. On the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, President Obama warned the bellwethers and big names not to anticipate anymore government bailouts.
“We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses,” he stated in an address at Federal Hall today.
The President also noted his support for more stringent rules and regulations on Wall Street to protect consumers, including a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to enforce the reform; strict capital requirements for banks; market transparency; and a closer eye on the financial system in general.
The overall plan pushed by the Obama Administration will arm the Fed with new oversight powers and authority for regulation. According to an article today by the Associated Press, Senator Chris Dodd, democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is pushing for new rules by the end of this year; however, in light of the sweeping changes proposed in Washington, the plan faces bi-partisan obstacles.
For now, President Obama remains stern on his warning that though the economy may be showing signs of its “return to normalcy,” it is imperative that Wall Street remember that “normalcy cannot lead to complacency.”