Obama pushes Wall St reform

City A.M. Reporter
PRESIDENT Barack Obama yesterday continued his push to drastically curb derivatives trading by Wall Street banks, at the same time as the European Commission indicated it would exempt non-financial firms from the new rules.

Republicans ripped into Obama’s Democratic reform bill, saying it would protect big banks, hurt small banks and guarantee “endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street.”

But Obama remained undeterred: “If there is one lesson that we’ve learned, it’s that an unfettered market where people are taking huge risks and expecting taxpayers to bail out when things go sour is simply not acceptable,” Obama said.

Democrats want tighter oversight of derivatives markets and protections for consumers from abusive mortgages, but they need the support of Republican lawmakers to push a bill through the full Senate.

The US debate came as the European Commission indicated it was likely to include an exemption for non-financial firms from new rules that will require most derivatives trades to be routed through clearing houses. The issue has been one of the most controversial aspects of the debate over derivatives regulation.