Wed, Aug 21, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Obama meets Bernanke, regulators

AFP, WASHINGTON

US President Barack Obama on Monday met Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other top regulators to press for urgent and full implementation of a sweeping finance reform law.

Obama, mulling the choice of a replacement for Bernanke, who is expected to retire early next year, held the rare closed door meeting at the White House.

Officials said that Obama commended the regulators for their work so far on implementing the reforms, known as the Dodd-Frank law, and consumer protections.

However, a White House statement said he also “stressed the need to expeditiously finish implementing the critical remaining portions of Wall Street reform to ensure we are able to prevent the type of financial harm that led to the Great Recession from ever happening again.”

The meeting took place before Obama heads out on a bus tour of Pennsylvania and New York this week to tout his economic leadership and progress in digging out of the economic crisis that dominated his first term.

The Dodd-Frank law, passed in 2010, was billed as the most significant reform of the US financial sector since the 1930s Great Depression.

It introduced new controls on derivatives markets and the housing sector, and included the “Volcker rule” designed to cut down risky investment practices by banks.

However, officials are struggling to complete the rules that will be used to fully implement the law, leading to some frustration in the White House and among supporters in Congress.

The White House said the meeting also covered the housing market and Obama’s calls for a more simplified housing finance system that would better protect consumers.

The talks, also attended by US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, included the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the chairs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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