US President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States was doomed to repeat its economic crisis if it failed to embrace his proposed financial regulatory reforms.
In advance excerpts of a major speech he was due to give later in New York, Obama also called on Wall Street finance chiefs to join and not block his effort to pass what he has billed as the most sweeping reforms since the 1930s.
The president noted that he had visited Cooper Union, a prestigious college, where he will give Thursday’s speech, to warn of the dangers of Wall Street excess during his 2008 election campaign.
“I take no satisfaction in noting that my comments have largely been borne out by the events that followed,” the US president said.
“But I repeat what I said then because it is essential that we learn the lessons of this crisis, so we don’t doom ourselves to repeat it,” he said in remarks given by the White House.
“And make no mistake, that is exactly what will happen if we allow this moment to pass.”
“Financial reform is something that is borne out of an economic collapse that started on Wall Street and spread to Main Street America,” White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Obama also addressed Wall Street bosses directly, urging them to call off armies of lobbyists the White House says are being paid millions of dollars by the industry to thwart reform.
“I am here today, because I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort,” he said.