Obama Issues Veto Threat On Financial Reform

By Matt Loffman

Apr 16, 2010 4:16pm

From Sunlen Miller:

President Obama said today he will veto a financial regulatory reform bill that does not regulate the derivatives market properly.

“I want to see what emerges, but I will veto legislation that does not bring the derivatives market under control in some sort of regulatory framework and assures that we do not have the same sort of mess that we've seen in the past,” Obama told reporters at the top of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) meeting in the Roosevelt Room today.

“There are literally trillions of dollars sloshing around this market that basically changes hands under the cover of darkness,” Obama said today. “That's why we've got to bring more transparency and oversight when it comes to derivatives, and bring them into a framework in which everybody knows exactly what's going on, because we can't afford another AIG.”

On Wednesday President Obama delivered this same message to Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, making the fight for strong oversight of derivatives.

Countering Republican claims that Chairman Dodd’s bill, as it came out of the Senate Banking Committee amounts to another bailout, President Obama pledged today that strong reform would mean no more bailouts.

“Never again should American taxpayers be forced to step in and pay the price for the irresponsibility of speculators on Wall Street who made risky bets, with the expectation that the taxpayers would be there to break their fall,” Obama said. “This is reform that will force banks and financial institutions to pay for bad decisions that they make and not have taxpayers pay for  those bad decisions.  And that means no more bailouts.”

Noting the opposition on Capitol Hill, President Obama said that special interests have descended on The Hill like armies.

“They have found some willing allies on the other side of the aisle, in Congress, who have been trying to carve out a lot of exceptions and special loopholes, so that folks on Wall Street can keep making these risky bets without any oversight.”

The president said it is his “hope” is that a bipartisan bill can be passed, as this issue is “too important,” he said to, “become bogged down in the same partisan gridlock and politics that we've seen. “

“But bipartisanship cannot mean simply allowing lobbyist-driven loopholes that put American taxpayers at risk.  That would not be real reform.”

Mr. Obama said that in the coming weeks every member of Congress will have the decision to make, “Are they going to side with the special interests and the status quo, or are they going to side with the American people?”

The president said that anyone who opposes this reform “is going to be leaving taxpayers on the hook if a crisis like the one that we've just seen ever happens again, and I consider that unacceptable.”

-Sunlen Miller

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