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Obama urging Wall Street to do the right thing

September 14, 2009

In his speech, Obama emphasizes that big banks should take it upon themselves to give back to the community after the tax payer has done so much to put them on them on the road to recovery. While I agree with the point in theory, I’m not sure Wall Street is built to think about the moral imperative of creating a better society when it’s primary goal is to make money.

Wall Street, and I use this term broadly, has already demonstrated that when it’s presented with a  choice, it chooses the money. While many bristle at the thought of more regulation, especially when it means it could undermine financial innovation – God forbid – one of the important take aways from the crisis should be there needs to be a counterweight to greed. The industry cannot regulate itself.

From the speech, which you can see in all its glory on Felix’s blog.

The fact is, many of the firms that are now returning to prosperity owe a debt to the American people. Though they were not the cause of the crisis, American taxpayers through their government took extraordinary action to stabilize the financial industry. They shouldered the burden of the bailout and they are still bearing the burden of the fallout – in lost jobs, lost homes and lost opportunities. It is neither right nor responsible after you’ve recovered with the help of your government to shirk your obligation to the goal of wider recovery, a more stable system, and a more broadly shared prosperity.

So I want to urge you to demonstrate that you take this obligation to heart. To put greater effort into helping families who need their mortgages modified under my administration’s homeownership plan. To help small business owners who desperately need loans and who are bearing the brunt of the decline in available credit. To help communities that would benefit from the financing you could provide, or the community development institutions you could support. To come up with creative approaches to improve financial education and to bring banking to those who live and work entirely outside the banking system. And, of course, to embrace serious financial reform, not fight it.

Comments

NOT once did he say the word ACCOUNTABILITY, Not once did he say that if you break the law before, now & in the future you will go to JAIL.

The miscreants will not change there ways until you put some of them in Jail. Until you add a morality component into the market nothing will change. The crowbar hotel tends to make one think of the long term something sorely lacking on Wall street.

Until you put the Bad Boyz in jail for circumventing a spirit of the law, Nothing will change.

It’s nothing other than Presidential rehtoric. Damage control of the sheeples. Being lead to the slaughter. THR HORROR.

Money talks B!llshit walks

Posted by bohenmianbill | Report as abusive
 

Although I voted for Obama and would again, I think he’s a bit limp wristed when dealing with the meaty issues of the day. Of course the Wall St guys will heed his admonishment! Those poor guys didn’t know that greed and irresponsibility were wrong. Now, thanks to the President they will do what Ted Bundy did when it was pointed out that butchering women was wrong,,,,,they’ll straighten out.

For Christ’s sake will anyone ever address the real problems in this country?

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive
 

Good one,

‘give back to the community’ versus ‘primary goal is to make money.’versus ‘there needs to be a counterweight to greed.’ = oxymoron, has always been and will always be.

However, at this stage, this is the only way to deal with the possibly fatal error and kneejerk reaction: why did the tax payer reserves not go directly to the distressed ?

It is good to see that the speech writers have included the word ‘education’, now they need to add the word ‘maths’, history and geology.

Posted by Casper Lab | Report as abusive
 

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