Washington President Barack Obama said Saturday that current financial rules exploit consumers and he put critics of his proposed overhaul on notice: “While I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one.”
Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to defend his recent proposal, which is intended to prevent a repeat of the breakdown that has sent the U.S. economy reeling. But such major changes face a fight in Congress and opposition from some leaders in the banking and insurance industries.
In the address, Obama focused on a consumer watchdog office that he wants to set up.
“This is essential,” Obama said. “For this crisis may have started on Wall Street. But its impacts have been felt by ordinary Americans who rely on credit cards, home loans and other financial instruments.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Agency would take over oversight of mortgages, requiring that lenders give customers the option of “plain vanilla” plans with clear and affordable terms.