Obama talks about economy, immigration in meeting with bankers

WASHINGTON Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:36pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the budget alongside acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Jeff Zients, in the Rose Garden of the White Hose in Washington, April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the budget alongside acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Jeff Zients, in the Rose Garden of the White Hose in Washington, April 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama stressed the need to revive the economy and reform immigration and fiscal policy during a meeting on Thursday with some of the world's most powerful bankers.

The White House had set the agenda for the meeting, a source familiar with the situation said, and the ongoing reform of Wall Street - a hot issue for bank lobbyists - did not appear prominently on the list of topics.

"The president discussed with the business leaders the need to work together on a number of important issues affecting business confidence, economic growth and job creation," a White House official said in an emailed statement.

Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein was at the meeting, as were Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan Chase, James Gorman of Morgan Stanley and Brian Moynihan, who heads Bank of America.

The group, which included representatives from the insurance and asset management industries, left the White House at noon in two vans without speaking to the press. They had been inside for roughly an hour.

The bankers were all members of the Financial Services Forum, which was holding its day-long spring meeting, according to the White House official. The Forum, a prominent bank lobby, said the dialogue had been "constructive."

Washington politicians - and even some regulators - have become more critical of the overhaul of the financial sector after the 2007-09 crisis through laws like the 2010 Dodd-Frank reforms and regulatory agreements such as the Basel III capital accord.

Two senators, for instance, have introduced a plan that would force banks to raise far more equity to fund their business, something that would be so costly that the largest banks might need to break up their business.

But while the "safety and soundness" of the financial system was on the agenda, according to a second person familiar with the situation, it was only one of many topics, such as immigration, cyber-security and the U.S. budget.

Dimon and Moynihan met Obama last month with other business leaders to discuss cyber attacks, seeking a "light touch" from the government in response to the risk, which they agreed were a top security threat.

(Additional reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Comments (6)
garilou wrote:
Why in heaven does he need to discuss that with the bankers?
Oh yes I remember: they are the real rulers in this country.
Nothing will be done without their consent.

Apr 11, 2013 3:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lemming wrote:
Our government leaders no longer adhere to a concept of obeying the spirit of the law, let alone the letter of the law. Most of them have no concept of right and wrong. No concept of what is and is not appropriate. And perhaps no conscience.

These politicians have no respect for the people who elected them. No respect for the American people. No respect for their office. No respect for the Constitution of the United States. No respect for what it means to be entrusted by the people of this nation to serve at the highest capacity. Their only goal is to consolidate more money and power into the hands of the few in order to control and manipulate the many. (author unknown) Just a thought…

Apr 11, 2013 4:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lemming wrote:
garilou: Here are the “key” players involved: Council of Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Club of Rome, United Nations, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Apr 11, 2013 4:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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