WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama called on Congress Saturday to give final approval to Wall Street reform, arguing it will ensure the strongest consumer financial protections in US history.
"I don`t have to tell you why these reforms are so important," Obama said in his weekly radio address.
"We`ll put in place the strongest consumer financial protections in American history, and create an independent agency with an independent director and an independent budget to enforce them."
On Friday, US lawmakers agreed a sweeping financial reform bill, ending marathon negotiations aimed a creating legislation that would prevent another economic crisis.
The compromise, which faces votes in the Senate and the House of Representatives as soon as next week, takes aim at the practices and regulatory loopholes accused of undermining the global financial system.
It seeks to bring the trade in derivatives into the open, curb subprime mortgages and prevent lenders from chopping up and repackaging loans into inscrutable products that are difficult to value and can conceal risk.
Under the compromise, banks protected by federal safety nets would not be able to engage in risky trades. The bill will also create a resolution authority to wind down firms whose collapse would threaten the entire financial system.
Obama said lawmakers had made great progress toward passing the reform package.
"As I speak, we are on the cusp of enacting the toughest financial reforms since the Great Depression," he said.
According to the president, securing progress on Wall Street reform has not been easy, and those opposed to it had spent millions of dollars and hired an army of lobbyists to stop reform dead in its tracks.
"But because we refused to back down, and kept fighting, we now stand on the verge of victory," Obama pointed out.
BDST: 1601 HRS, June 26, 2010