Obama: Wall Street reform needed to protect from downturn

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden celebrates start of Hanukkah The massive messaging miscues of all the president's men (and women) 'Car guy' Biden puts his spin on the presidency MORE is stressing the need to pass a bill overhauling the financial services industry in order to avoid another economic crisis.

In his weekly radio address, Obama also highlighted the protections average U.S. consumers would receive if Congress passes the Wall Street regulatory measure, which is winding its way through the Senate.

“In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of back and forth about the reform bill currently making its way through Congress,” Obama said in the address. “There’s been a lot of discussion about technical aspects of the bill, and a lot of heated – and frankly misleading – rhetoric coming from opponents of reform.”

In making his case, Obama said he would continue working hard to jumpstart job creation and foster a climate that encourages businesses to hire again. But he said his responsibility as president isn’t just to help our economy rebound from the current recession.

Obama said he also had to try to ensure that another economic crisis that helped trigger the recession never happens again.

“The Wall Street reform bill in Congress represents the strongest consumer financial protections in history,” he said. “You’ll be empowered with the clear and concise information you need to make the choices that are best for you. We’ll help stop predatory practices, and curb unscrupulous lenders, helping secure your family’s financial future.”

The regulatory reform bill, Obama said, will make the U.S. financial system more transparent, prevent banks from taking on too much risk and give shareholders more control of executives’ salaries to “help change the perverse incentives that encouraged reckless risk-taking in the first place.”

“Put simply,” he said, “Wall Street reform will bring greater security to folks on Main Street.”

Obama referred to his visits earlier this week to Buffalo, N.Y., a city hard hit by the current economic downturn.

“The stories I heard in Buffalo this week were a reminder that, despite the progress we’ve made, we need to keep working hard, so we can build on that progress and rebound from this recession in the short-term,” he said. “But even as we do, we also need to lay a new foundation for growth and shared prosperity over the long-term.”