Obama to mark fifth anniversary of financial crisis, highlight response

President Obama will speak Monday from the White House Rose Garden to mark the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis and highlight his administration's response to it.

Although the nation's housing market began teetering as early as 2006, Washington's concerted response came two years later with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, one of the largest investment banks in the world. Sunday marks the five-year anniversary of that event.

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In response, the Bush administration pushed its Wall Street bailout plan through a reluctant Congress in late 2008 and launched a separate effort to prop up the nation's automakers.

Entering the White House a few months later, Obama continued both programs, while also passing a sweeping economic stimulus measure as one of his first actions as president. Subsequently, he championed the Democrats' anti-foreclosure programs as well as sweeping new regulations on Wall Street, known as the Dodd-Frank law after the two sponsors of the bill. 

Democrats and other supporters of those efforts have hailed them as preventing the recession from being even more severe than it was. But Republicans and other conservative critics have blasted those measures as an attack on free markets and a hindrance to the private sector at the expense of jobs and the pace of recovery.

In Monday's speech, Obama is expected to pressure Congress to take greater steps to boost the middle class amid a lingering unemployment crisis. Democrats have promoted legislation they say will address the issue – including bills to hike infrastructure spending, increase taxes on companies that outsource and raise the minimum wage – but most of those are non-starters with GOP leaders in the House.

Obama will appear with people who say they have benefited from his economic agenda, including small business owners, homeowners and consumers, the White House said Saturday.