President Barack Obama stepped up his campaign against Wall Street on Thursday with a far-reaching proposal for tougher regulation of the biggest banks.
"We have to get this done," Obama said at the White House. "If these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have."
It was a stern, populist lecture from the president to Wall Street for what he perceives as its abandonment of Main Street. Obama said the government should have the power to limit the size and complexity of large financial institutions as well as their ability to make high-risk trades.
He said it wasn't appropriate that banks have been able to run these trading operations with the protections afforded to regular banking services.
"We have to enact commonsense reforms that will protect American taxpayers and the American economy from future crises," Obama said. "For, while the financial system is far stronger today than it was one year ago, it's still operating under the same rules that led to its near-collapse."
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Obama Seeks Bigger Banking Restrictions" (with video)
AP with video from MSNBC (07:43):