President Obama urged Congress Saturday to take swift final action on sweeping reforms of the way Wall Street does business. Push the bill "over the finish line," he said, so that taxpayers will never again have to bail out banks and investment firms such as those involved in the 2008 meltdown.
The president said the compromise legislation, facing final votes in the Senate and House, included "90 percent of what I proposed when I took up this fight. We'll put in place the strongest consumer financial protections in American history, and create an independent agency with an independent director" to enforce the new rules.
In his weekly address
, Obama said the bill, ironed out by a House-Senate conference committee, will create a "resolution authority" to help manage the winding down of troubled firms "whose collapse would threaten our entire financial system." He said the legislation would also crack down on hidden fees, penalties and other misleading practices by some credit card companies and mortgage houses, and force more openness in risky trading, including the derivatives market.
As the Washington Post
points out, the measure does not ban exotic trading practices or attempt to break up big investment banks. The House and Senate are expected to act on the conference report next week, so Obama could have a bill to sign before the 4th of July.