WASHINGTON Aug 19 President Barack Obama plans
to communicate a "sense of urgency" about finishing new rules
for Wall Street when he meets with top U.S. financial regulators
on Monday, a White House spokesman said.
September will mark the fifth anniversary of the bankruptcy
of Lehman Brothers, an investment bank whose failure roiled
markets and is often viewed as a peak in the financial crisis.
Obama will meet with top officials from the agencies charged
with overhauling financial regulation and preventing another
meltdown, including the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president
appreciates the progress regulators have made in revamping their
oversight of financial firms, and will urge them to finish
writing the requirements called for by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.
"We're certainly pleased with the level of cooperation and
coordination that's taken place among these independent
regulators," Earnest told reporters on Monday.
"The president wants to encourage them to capitalize on the
momentum they've already built up to put this regulatory regime
The Dodd-Frank law, which Congress passed in response to the
meltdown, called for hundreds of new rules, including new
oversight of the massive swaps market, mortgages and consumer
financial products, and large nonbank financial firms.
Regulators have rushed to write the rules but have missed
deadlines on many of the most controversial requirements. The
rules are about 40 percent complete.
For example, the so-called Volcker rule to forbid banks from
making risky trades with their own money is more than a year
behind schedule, as five different agencies struggle to agree on
a single rule.
Earnest said he did not have any announcements to make about
progress on new rules, and he said it was important that
regulators remain independent from politics and from Wall Street
firms seeking to water down the new requirements.
He pointed to the consumer bureau and its director, Richard
Cordray, as a way the Dodd-Frank law already has led to greater
protections for middle-class families.
Dodd-Frank created the bureau to oversee mortgages, credit
cards and other consumer products. After years of disagreements
in Congress over the structure of the bureau, Cordray was
finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July.