Obama on Reform: "Free Market Not Free License to Take What

by Derek Loosvelt | April 22, 2010

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Today in New York at Cooper Union's Great Hall, President Obama addressed a group of 700 people (including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd We Didn't Do It Blankfein and COO Gary Ice Cream Cohn), speaking about the urgent need for financial regulatory reform.

As expected, Obama castigated the risk taking and big-bonus-paying practices of Wall Street while nodding to the problems suffered on Main Street (such as millions of jobs lost and countless homeowners foreclosed upon).

Attempting to rally folks behind his administration's reform bill, Obama said, "A free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it." And commenting on the need for derivative regulation, he said, "Many practices were so opaque and complex that few within these companies—let alone those charged with oversight—were fully aware of the massive wagers being made."

He also noted that he "was encouraged to see a Republican Senator join with Democrats this week in moving forward on this issue. For without action, we'll continue to see what amounts to highly-leveraged, loosely-monitored gambling in our financial system, putting taxpayers and the economy in jeopardy."

Remember, Barack only needs one Republican to cross party lines to get the Dodd bill to pass the Senate. And thanks to the SEC's case against Goldman (which is looking less and less like it will go to trial) I bet you four Paulson-packaged mortgage securities that he does.

Meanwhile, Joe the VP talks about something less important than Wall Street: earth.

Filed Under: Finance

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