President Obama’s announcement that he intends to place added restrictions on big banks was largely a response to taxpayer anger over how firms used bailout funds. “Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail,” Obama said. Obama’s more “populist tone” is due in part to this week’s Massachusetts Senate win by Republican Scott Brown, The New York Times reports.
In proposing to subsidize the banking industry, Obama is trying to make firms decide whether to cooperate, and reap the financial benefits from the federal government, or have more freedom to pursue profitability minus any government support, a Washington Post story said.
Even Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who typically favors more lenient government financial regulations, is moving toward clamping down on Wall Street, The Post says.
Obama’s embracing of ex-Treasury Secretary Paul Volcker’s proposal to impose stricter rules on banks may be prompting Treasury’s change of direction, a different Washington Post story reports.