President Obama devoted his second-to-last weekly address before the Nov. 6 election to discussing Wall Street reform and the independent consumer watchdog that came with it – the brainchild of Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who is locked in a tight Senate race with incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
“It’s now been four years since a crisis that began on Wall Street spread to Main Street, hammering middle-class families and ultimately costing our economy 9 million jobs,” Mr. Obama said, noting that since then, businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since he took office and home values are once again rising.
“And to make sure America never goes through a crisis like that again, we passed tough new Wall Street reform to end taxpayer-funded bailouts for good,” he said. “Wall Street reform also created the first-ever independent consumer watchdog, whose sole job is to look out for you. That means making sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions like buying a home or paying for college. And it means going after anyone who tries to take advantage of you, or rip you off.”
Mr. Obama also highlighted a new way for consumers to contest their credit score – by bringing it to the consumer watchdog at consumerfinance.gov/complaint.
“And fixing your credit score isn’t the only thing they can help with,” he said. “If you’re opening a bank account, trying to get a student loan, or applying for a credit card and something doesn’t seem right, you can let them know and they’ll check it out. If you’re looking to buy a home, and you want to know if you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage, you can give them a call and they’ll get you an answer. Their only mission is to fight for you. And when needed, they’ll take action.”
Though he didn’t mention Ms. Warren by name, Mr. Obama did accuse Congressional Republicans of “waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these new rules.”
“I refuse to let that happen,” he said. “I believe that the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history, and that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government. But I also believe that the free market has never been about taking whatever you want, however you can get it. Alongside our innovative spirit, America only prospers when we meet certain obligations to one another, and when we all play by the same set of rules. We’ve come too far – and sacrificed too much – to go back to an era of top-down, on-your-own economics. And as long as I’m President, we’re going to keep moving this country forward so that everyone – whether you start a business or punch a clock – can have confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead.”