On yet another disconcerting commemoration — the one-year anniversary of the collapse of financial giant Lehman Bros. — President Obama is heading to Wall Street today to deliver a tough message about financial regulation and the need for Wall Street to take responsibility for its past excesses. But the president’s regulatory agenda has been sidetracked because of his focus, and struggles, with health care reform.
“The chance for regulatory reform is starting to slip away from us, that we need very definitely in place some sort of better system of monitoring and of regulation, otherwise we are going to get right back into the soup again,” said political analyst David Gergen. “I think… the regulatory reform effort is a causality of the health care fight, because health care is so dominant that the president can’t get attention back to regulatory reform and the Senate is so caught up in health care that it is going to be very difficult to get regulatory reform done this year.”
White House officials say the president will urge Wall Street to take more responsibility and improve its behavior, and he will make a call for greater global financial regulation. In a speech expected to last between 25 and 30 minutes, administration officials say, President Obama will discuss the administration’s plan to wind down government involvement in the financial sector, argue for immediate action on regulatory reform and reiterate the importance of global coordination in preventing future crises.
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