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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

White House Eyes Financial Services Lobbying

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President Obama believes businesses should support strong financial reform, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said during a recent briefing.

In a speech at the annual meeting of the Business Council, Washington, Obama talked about “those … in the financial industry whose companies may be employing lobbyists seeking to weaken this bill.”

He urged financial service businesses “to join us rather than to fight us” on financial reform.

“That doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be legitimate differences on the details of what is a complicated piece of legislation,” Obama said. “But, in its broad parameters, this proposal is a common-sense, reasonable, non-ideological approach to target the root problems that we’ve seen in our financial sector.”

During the White House briefing, a reporter asked Gibbs about Obama’s comments on lobbying.

“Doesn’t the president think corporations have as much right as anybody to express their view and try and get their wishes done in Congress?” the reporter asked, according to the briefing transcript.

“Well, I think what the president was speaking specifically about is, as those lobbying activities relate to financial reform,” Gibbs said. “The President believes that financial reform is in the best interest of those on Wall Street, those on Main Street, and all those that do business with both.”

Obama believes that one of the ways to get the economy back on a strong foundation is to have strong financial reform rules, Gibbs said.

“But if the company believes that the Wall Street reform that he wants is not in the company’s best interests, don’t they have the right to lobby against it, as on any bill?” the reporter asked.

“They have the right to be wrong that it’s not in the best interest of this country–or that company–to have strong rules,” Gibbs said. “The president vehemently disagrees with that. … The president believes that it’s in the interest of all those involved, including business, to support strong financial reform.”


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