Earlier Thursday Goldman Sachs set aside nothing for fourth-quarter executive compensation, opting instead to donate $500 million to charity. Total compensation at the banking giant this year was down 20 percent compared to 2007, although employees are still set to rake in an average of nearly $500,000 per person.
At a hearing last week before a congressionally-appointed panel examining the causes of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein acknowledged that his firm had made missteps leading up to the 2008 crisis.
"Whatever we did, it didn't work out well," he said.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said at the hearing, "We understand the anger felt by many citizens."
In his remarks at the White House today, Obama said, "What we've seen so far in recent weeks is an army of industry lobbyists from Wall Street descending on Capitol Hill to try and block basic and common-sense rules of the road that would protect our economy and the American people.
"So if these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have."
But whether or not the White House will win that fight – and if even that will be enough to placate Main Street outrage – remains to be seen.
With reports from ABC News' Betsy Stark and Charles Herman.