President Barack Obama denounces Wall Street for practicing high risk to the detriment of the country Thursday. “Ultimately there is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street. We rise or we fall together as one nation. So I urge you to join me,” Obama said in a high-stakes speech near the nation’s financial hub.
The president acknowledged differences of opinion over how to best protect bailout-weary taxpayers but rebuked criticism by Republicans who claim a Democratic-sponsored bill headed for Senate action would encourage future bailouts of huge banks.
“That may make for a good sound bite, but it’s not factually accurate,” Obama said. “In fact, the system as it stands is what led to a series of massive, costly taxpayer bailouts. Only with reform can we avoid a similar outcome in the future. A vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts. That’s the truth. End of story.”
Obama said that today, the economy is recovering in what he called “the fastest turnaround in growth in nearly three decades.”
“But we have more work to do. Until this progress is felt not just on Wall Street but Main Street we cannot be satisfied,” he added.
Taking his argument for stronger oversight of the financial industry to the city where the economic meltdown began, Obama said it was “essential that we learn the lessons of this crisis, so we don’t doom ourselves to repeat it. And make no mistake, that is exactly what will happen if we allow this moment to pass.”