Obama Vows 'Light Touch' in Bank Regulation

Oversight measures aim for 'minimum' to avoid meltdown
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2009 6:07 AM CDT
Obama Vows 'Light Touch' in Bank Regulation
President Barack Obama gestures during a joint news conference with the South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, not shown, Tuesday, June 16, 2009, in the Rose Garden of the White House.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Today Barack Obama will announce a major financial reform package that will give the Fed, Treasury, and FDIC new powers of regulation and oversight. It's the most substantial shift in financial regulations since the 1930s—but stops short of some of the most radical proposals, including tough limits on derivatives trading. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the president says he wants a "relatively light touch," but that Washington needs to "guard against huge systemic risk."

Although the new proposals touch on everything from minimum capital levels for banks to consumer protections for small investors, Obama insists that "we want to do the minimum possible" to ensure "a clear set of rules of the road." Above all, the administration wants to ensure transparency in financial markets to prevent another speculative bubble. For the president, "Every stakeholder in the marketplace—consumers, workers, investors, entrepreneurs—should know what they're getting themselves into." (More banking industry stories.)

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