Weekly Address: Protecting the Progress We’ve Made with Wall Street Reform

The President:
Hi, everybody. I’m here with Senator
Elizabeth Warren, one of our strongest advocates for
families and consumers like you. Today, we want to talk about
some of the actions we’ve taken to protect everything
you’ve worked so hard to build. Eight years ago, after some
big banks made irresponsible and risky bets with your
money, we almost slipped into another
Great Depression. While the recklessness
started on Wall Street, it didn’t take long before it
led to real pain for folks on Main Street. It would cost millions of
our fellow Americans their jobs, homes, and savings. Elizabeth Warren: The
financial crisis wasn’t an unstoppable act of nature. The whole thing could have
been avoided, but we didn’t have the rules in place to
stop Wall Street from taking enormous risks that
threatened the economy. We didn’t have strong
protections to keep consumers from being cheated
by tricks and traps on financial contracts. The President: So when I
took office in the darkest days of the crisis, I
promised you we wouldn’t just recover from crisis –
we’d rebuild our economy on a new foundation to make
sure a crisis like that never happens again. Elizabeth Warren:
President Obama delivered. He signed into law the
toughest Wall Street reforms and strongest consumer
protections in generations. Trust me – I’m a
pretty tough grader. These new rules are making
our financial system more transparent, getting rid of
a lot of fine print, and making sure that if a bank
screws up, you have someone to call so you don’t get
stuck with the bill. The President: These reforms
have already made our financial system safer
and more resilient. And part of passing those
strong consumer protections meant establishing the
first-ever Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
based on an idea that Senator Warren came up with
before the crisis even began. Elizabeth Warren: Every day,
the good people at that independent agency crack
down on dishonest and deceptive practices like the
ones that helped cause the crash. The proof is in the more
than 27 million consumers who in just five years have
gotten refunds and other relief from credit card
companies, payday lenders, debt collectors, and others
that tried to rip them off. The President: Before
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you
didn’t have a strong ally to turn to if your bank took
advantage of you, or you were being harassed or
charged inappropriate fees. Now you do. Elizabeth Warren: The Bureau
is also there to help you make better-informed
decisions. Before you take out a
mortgage, or a loan for college or a new car, check
out the agency’s website – CFPB.gov. It can help you sift through
the confusing but important details. The President: Republicans
and big banks who opposed these commonsense rules
claimed they’d hurt the economy. But we’ve seen what happened
to the economy when we didn’t have these rules. And despite their claims,
our economy is stronger today than it was
before the crisis. Since we dug out from the
worst of it, our businesses have added almost
15 million new jobs. Corporate profits are up,
lending to businesses is up, and the stock market has
hit an all-time high. So the idea this was bad for
business just doesn’t hold water. Now our task should be
making sure we build on those gains, and make sure
they’re felt by everybody. Elizabeth Warren: But every
year, like clockwork, big banks and their Republican
allies in Congress try to roll back these protections
and undermine the consumer watchdog, whose only job
is to look out for you. Their nominee for President
promises to dismantle all of it. They may have forgotten
about the crisis, but working families
sure haven’t. We haven’t either. And that’s why we’re not
going to let them give Wall Street the ability to
threaten our economy all over again. The President: Whether
you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or an
independent, if you’re a hardworking American who
plays by the rules, you should expect Wall Street
to play by the rules, too. That’s what we’re
fighting for. Elizabeth Warren: It’s about
basic fairness for everyone. The President: And it’s
about responsibility from everyone. Thanks to leaders like
Senator Warren, our country, our economy, and our
families are better off. Let’s keep it that way. Thanks for being
here, Senator Warren. Elizabeth Warren: Thanks for
having me, Mr. President. The President: Have a
great weekend, everybody.

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