Obama: My Wall Street policies 'have worked'

Obama: My Wall Street policies 'have worked'
© Getty Images

President Obama took on critics of his Wall Street policies Monday, arguing the laws he pushed “have worked.”

At a meeting with top financial regulators, Obama noted that his efforts to overhaul the financial system have been met by criticism from both the right and the left. And he dismissed both sides' arguments as misguided.

“It is popular in the media, and political discourse both on the left and on the right to suggest that the crisis happened and nothing changed. That is not true,” he said, according to a pool report.

“I want to dispel the notion that exists both on the left and on the right that somehow, after the crisis, nothing happened," he said. “We did not just rebuild this, we rebuilt it better, and we’ve rebuilt it stronger.”

Obama met Monday with top regulators of the financial sector, including Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Mary Jo White and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.

The purpose of the meeting was to check in on how regulators were implementing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. While the law was passed in 2010, some portions of it, particularly pertaining to executive compensation on Wall Street, remain unfinished.

Exactly how Washington polices Wall Street has emerged as a major focal point in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate passes 6B defense bill Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Kasich: There’s a disease in American politics MORE (I-Vt.), a Democratic candidate, has made his aggressive call for new regulations on the financial sector — and an implication that current administration missed the mark — a central part of his campaign.

The outspoken liberal has vowed to break up the nation’s largest financial institutions and has contended that major financial institutions enjoy massive influence in Washington and avoided just consequences coming out of the crisis.

His rival, front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKoch brothers group won't back Stewart in Virginia Giuliani says his demand for Mueller probe to be suspended was for show Poll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota MORE, has aligned herself with the president when it comes to Wall Street, arguing Dodd-Frank gives the government power to guard against most threats to the financial system going forward.

Her Wall Street plan is aimed mainly at boosting oversight of lightly regulated parts of financial markets that escape traditional scrutiny, such as some types of investment banking.

“Thanks to Dodd-Frank, thanks to President Obama, we've got the tools,” Clinton said in a CNBC interview Monday.

On the right, most Republicans have dismissed Dodd-Frank as a boondoggle, arguing the raft of new rules have stifled smaller banks while failing to properly address the threats posed by massive banks that remain “too big to fail.” Several GOP contenders for the White House have vowed to repeal the law if elected president.