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Obama calls for new 'rules of the road' for finance industry

US President Barack Obama has said his administration would lay down "clear rules of the road" for the crippled financial industry with a new 21st century regulatory framework.

world Updated: Feb 26, 2009 07:52 IST

US President Barack Obama has said his administration would lay down "clear rules of the road" for the crippled financial industry with a new 21st century regulatory framework.

"We can no longer sustain 21st century markets with 20th century regulations," Obama yesterday said after meeting his top financial advisors and senior lawmakers at the White House.

"Strong financial markets require clear rules of the road, not to hinder financial institutions but to protect consumers and investors and ultimately to keep those financial institutions strong," the president said.

"Not to stifle, but to advance competition, growth and prosperity."

The president blamed lax or poorly enforced regulation for allowing Wall Street to package mortgages into complicated financial instruments and in a perfect financial storm which helped cause the financial meltdown.

"This financial crisis was not inevitable," he said.

"It happened when Wall Street wrongly presumed markets would continuously rise and traded in complex financial products without fully evaluating their risks.

"Here in Washington, our regulations lagged behind changes in our markets, and too often regulators failed to use the authority that they had to protect consumers, markets and the economy.