President Obama chastises financial industry during fundraising stop in New York

October 21, 2009

(ChattahBox) — President Barack Obama gave a big boost to the Democratic candidate in New York’s 23rd Congressional district race last night and a scolding to Wall Street firms for failing to change and resisting tighter regulations of their industry.

The president attended a Democratic fundraiser in New York City for candidate Bill Owens, followed by a DNC fundraiser. Owens’ event was the president’s first fundraiser for a non-incumbent House candidate.

Obama lashed out at the “reckless speculation” and “shortsightedness” he said were behind the 2008-2009 financial crisis  and said banks had not done enough to boost lending to small businesses:

“The financial industry is essential to a health economy and to the well-being of our economy,” Obama said. “But we also know we should never again have to face potential calamity because of reckless speculation and deceptive practices and short sightedness and self-interestedness from a few.”

“When I hear stories about small businesses and medium- sized businesses not being able to get loans despite Wall Street being back very profitably, that tells me that people aren’t thinking about their obligations, our mutual obligations, to each other,” Obama said.

The administration is increasingly focused and concerned about the disparity between Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average recently again rose about the 10,000 mark after collapsing in late 2008 and early 2009, and the rest of the weak economy, where small business are having difficulty getting credit and job losses are continuing.  Hefty profits and plans for big bonuses at firms like Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms that benefited from the bailout are fueling outrage on main street.

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