President Obama on Wall Street Reform
Speech at historic Cooper Union outlines details
Kid Reporter Christopher Campbell with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. at President Obama's speech in Cooper Union on April 22, 2010. (Photo Courtesy Christopher Campell)
Wall Street needs reforming, said President Barack Obama in his second major speech on the subject at Cooper Union in New York City. The first time the President spoke there, he was a candidate for President. This time, he came to deliver on the promises made in that first speech.
"I am here because I believe that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of our country, but in the best interest of our financial sector," President Obama said. "And I am here to explain what reform will look like, and why it matters."
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a privately funded university. It has hosted many great world leaders, including President Abraham Lincoln.
In his speech, President Obama discussed his four-point strategy to reform Wall Street, not kill it.
"I believe in the power of the free market," he said. "I believe in a strong financial sector that helps people to raise capital and get loans and invest their savings. It's part of what has made American what it is."
The first point, he said, involves a way to protect the financial system if a large firm begins to fail.
The second point is to make what the financial markets do more open to the public.
The third point involves protections for consumers. The final point is a plan to cut executive pay and elaborate bonuses for top company officials of failing companies.
Attending the event were Bronx and Manhattan borough presidents Ruben Diaz Jr. and Scott Stringer. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Patterson were also there.
"We have to be careful in how we [reform Wall Street], but it's needed," said Diaz Jr.
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