ABA’s Yingling sees danger in rhetoric: it’s Wall Street, not banks

April 26, 2010

REGULATION-SUMMITEd Yingling, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, is a little worried about the rhetoric that’s been flying around as Congress tries to produce financial reform legislation.

And he wants people to be clear that the problems are with Wall Street, not banks.

Though, the differentiation gets a little tricky here because some of the largest banks in the country and biggest players on Wall Street are members of his organization and received taxpayer bailouts. The thousands of other banks that his trade association represents did not.

“The general tone has I think been harmful, particularly to the banks we represent,” Yingling said at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit 2010.

But at least one key person got it right — President Barack Obama in his speech on “Wall Street Reform” last week, Yingling said.

“He never used the term bank in any pejorative sense,” he said. “He used it in a factual sense.”

“It was clear that they realized that they need to differentiate between banks and Wall Street activities,” he said.

“So I think there is a danger, and there’s always a danger in these situations that the rhetoric can get out of hand and can drive things that go too far, drive mistakes,” Yingling said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Yingling at Reuters Financial Regulation Summit)

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/