Weekly Address: President Obama – Protecting the Progress We’ve Made with Wall Street Reform

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined President Obama to discuss how far we’ve come since the financial crisis, when the recklessness of Wall Street caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and savings. Senator Warren underscored the importance of the Wall Street reforms the President signed into law, which included the strongest consumer protections in generations. In addition to making the financial system safer and more resilient, these reforms also established the first-ever Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which holds banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, and others accountable, and protects consumers from abuses and deceptive practices. This past Thursday, July 21, marked six years since the President signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law and the five year anniversary of the creation of the CFPB. Thanks to these reforms, the President reiterated the economy is stronger and more durable today than it was before the crisis. That’s why President Obama is going to keep fighting to protect the progress we’ve made reforming Wall Street from attacks, because hard-working Americans who play by the rules should expect Wall Street to play by the rules, too.

From CFPB Web Site: We’re on your side

We are the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Transcript: Weekly Address: Protecting the Progress We’ve Made with Wall Street Reform

Remarks of President Barack Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren as Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address, The White House, July 23, 2016

POTUS: Hi, everybody. I’m here with Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of our strongest advocates for families and consumers like you. Today, we want to talk about some of the actions we’ve taken to protect everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Eight years ago, after some big banks made irresponsible and risky bets with your money, we almost slipped into another Great Depression. While the recklessness started on Wall Street, it didn’t take long before it led to real pain for folks on Main Street. It would cost millions of our fellow Americans their jobs, homes, and savings.

WARREN: The financial crisis wasn’t an unstoppable act of nature. The whole thing could have been avoided, but we didn’t have the rules in place to stop Wall Street from taking enormous risks that threatened the economy. We didn’t have strong protections to keep consumers from being cheated by tricks and traps on financial contracts.

POTUS: So when I took office in the darkest days of the crisis, I promised you we wouldn’t just recover from crisis – we’d rebuild our economy on a new foundation to make sure a crisis like that never happens again.

WARREN: President Obama delivered. He signed into law the toughest Wall Street reforms and strongest consumer protections in generations. Trust me – I’m a pretty tough grader. These new rules are making our financial system more transparent, getting rid of a lot of fine print, and making sure that if a bank screws up, you have someone to call so you don’t get stuck with the bill.

POTUS: These reforms have already made our financial system safer and more resilient. And part of passing those strong consumer protections meant establishing the first-ever Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, based on an idea that Senator Warren came up with before the crisis even began.

WARREN: Every day, the good people at that independent agency crack down on dishonest and deceptive practices like the ones that helped cause the crash. The proof is in the more than 27 million consumers who in just five years have gotten refunds and other relief from credit card companies, payday lenders, debt collectors, and others that tried to rip them off.

POTUS: Before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you didn’t have a strong ally to turn to if your bank took advantage of you, or you were being harassed or charged inappropriate fees. Now you do.

WARREN: The Bureau is also there to help you make better-informed decisions. Before you take out a mortgage, or a loan for college or a new car, check out the agency’s website – CFPB.gov. It can help you sift through the confusing but important details.

POTUS: Republicans and big banks who opposed these commonsense rules claimed they’d hurt the economy. But we’ve seen what happened to the economy when we didn’t have these rules. And despite their claims, our economy is stronger today than it was before the crisis. Since we dug out from the worst of it, our businesses have added almost 15 million new jobs. Corporate profits are up, lending to businesses is up, and the stock market has hit an all-time high. So the idea this was bad for business just doesn’t hold water. Now our task should be making sure we build on those gains, and make sure they’re felt by everybody.

WARREN: But every year, like clockwork, big banks and their Republican allies in Congress try to roll back these protections and undermine the consumer watchdog, whose only job is to look out for you. Their nominee for President promises to dismantle all of it. They may have forgotten about the crisis, but working families sure haven’t. We haven’t either. And that’s why we’re not going to let them give Wall Street the ability to threaten our economy all over again.

POTUS: Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent, if you’re a hardworking American who plays by the rules, you should expect Wall Street to play by the rules, too. That’s what we’re fighting for.

WARREN: It’s about basic fairness for everyone.

POTUS: And it’s about responsibility from everyone. Thanks to leaders like Senator Warren, our country, our economy, and our families are better off. Let’s keep it that way. Thanks for being here, Senator Warren.

WARREN: Thanks for having me, Mr. President.

POTUS: Have a great weekend, everybody.

Bolding added.



  3 comments for “Weekly Address: President Obama – Protecting the Progress We’ve Made with Wall Street Reform

  1. JanF
    July 23, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Yesterday, President Obama met with President Peña Nieto of Mexico.

    President Obama:

    Let me start by saying something that is too often overlooked but bears repeating, especially given some of the heated rhetoric that we sometimes hear. The United States values tremendously our enduring partnership with Mexico and our extraordinary ties of family and friendship with the Mexican people

    Mexico is our third-largest trading partner We sell more to Mexico than we do to China, India, and Russia combined Every year, millions of tourists and businesspeople and friends and family cross our border legally Every day, $1.5 billion in trade and investment crosses our border — and that’s trade that supports over a million jobs right here in the United States On a whole host of issues, from our shared security to climate change, Mexico is a critical partner and is critically important to our own well-being We’re not just strategic and economic partners, we’re also neighbors, and we’re friends, and we’re family — including millions of Americans that are connected to Mexico by ties of culture and of language

    Full Transcript: Remarks by President Obama and President Pena Nieto of Mexico in Joint Press Conference

    • JanF
      July 23, 2016 at 6:46 am

      The president’s response to the “doom and gloom” of the Republican National Conflagration just held in Cleveland:

      I did not watch the convention. I don’t think that’s a surprise, I’ve got a lot of stuff to do, and they are pretty long events. But I did read some of what was said. And the one thing that I think is important to recognize is this idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn’t really jibe with the experience of most people. I mean, I hope people, the next morning, walked outside and birds were chirping and the sun was out, and this afternoon people will be watching their kids play in sports teams and go to the swimming pool, and folks are going to work and getting ready for the weekend. And, in particular, I think it is important just to be absolutely clear here that some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don’t jibe with the facts. […]

      So the one thing that I think is important is — obviously there are going to be different visions about where we should go as a country — how we can provide jobs, how we can make sure that our kids are able to get the education they need to succeed in the 21st century, how do we deal with our budget, how do we make sure our tax system is fair, how do we deal with very real issues around growing inequality or wages that have not gone up as fast as we want, and the real pressures that a lot of families feel. But we’re not going to make good decisions based on fears that don’t have a basis in fact.

      Let me provide a translation here: the Republicans lied.

  2. JanF
    July 23, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    The president vetoed the “Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2016” or as it is known on Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s House Committee on Investigating Hillary Clinton, the “Stick It To The Clintons Act”. Turns out that it punished Carter (bonus for Chaffetz!) and former presidents Bush as well (oops!). The White House:

    This bill as written would immediately terminate salaries and all benefits to staffers carrying out the official duties of former Presidents – leaving no time or mechanism for them to transition to another payroll. As written, this bill would also impair Secret Service’s ability to protect former Presidents by ending GSA’s role in managing operations, equipment and office space. Under this bill, GSA must immediately terminate leases, and remove furniture from offices of former Presidents working to fulfilling their continued public service responsibilities.

    The President’s decision to veto this bill was made after consultations with the offices of each of the former Presidents, and is responsive to concerns they raised to us. We are working with Congress on the technical fixes to resolve these issues. If Congress provides these technical fixes, the President would sign the bill.

    Here is more on the bill:

    At issue: The expense allowances that former presidents get to travel and maintain an office. Obama said that by capping those allowances at $200,000, some current former presidents would have to lay off staff, cancel leases or even return office furniture.

    Under current law, the General Services Administration must provide “suitable office space, appropriately furnished and equipped.” The total cost of maintaining and staffing those offices currently ranges from $430,000 for former President Jimmy Carter to $1.1 million for former President George W. Bush, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

    The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2016 would have removed the GSA’s role in providing office space, instead giving a flat $200,000 allowance.

    “Unfortunately, this bill as written would immediately terminate salaries and all benefits to staffers carrying out the official duties of former Presidents – leaving no time or mechanism for them to transition to another payroll,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. And he said the cuts could even impact Secret Service protection for former presidents.[…]

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would also have capped presidential pensions at $200,000 a year, with a cost-of-living increase, and phased out pensions for presidents making $400,000 a year in outside income.

    Who could he have had in mind??!!??


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