Obama: Economy Returning to Normalcy

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President Barack Obama told Wall Street Monday he wants strict rules to prevent another collapse in the future, as the economy shows signs of improvement.

It was one year ago that financial giant Lehman Brothers collapsed signaling the financial crisis to come.
    
Speaking on Wall Street-- the eye of the storm that toppled money markets across the globe-- Obama announced a blue sky is on the horizon.

"While full recovery of the financial system will take a great deal more time and work, the growing stability resulting from these interventions means we are beginning to return to normalcy," he said.

To prop up the falling financial giants, Obama rushed a $787 billion stimulus through Congress days after taking office-- a move he credits with pulling the nation's economy back from the brink of collapse.
    
Still, the president says Wall Street cannot become complacent. Risky investors cannot count on tax payers being there to bail them out if there is a next time.    

"I want everybody here to hear my words: We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses," Obama said.

To prevent another crisis, the president wants to force banks to keep more money on hand, more power to police risky financial products and a new agency to oversee marketing financial products to customers.

Republicans, however, say more government bureaucracy will do nothing to improve consumer confidence.

With near double digit unemployment, they say the president should have detailed how he plans to loosen the government's grip on the private sector post crisis.

"Missing from the president's remarks today was a clear exit strategy for the federal government's involvement in the private sector," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"American taxpayers have had enough of open-ended bailouts that have left them stuck with an eye-popping tab in the form of trillions in new debt. This generational theft must end," he added.

Meanwhile, the sensitive issue of executive bonuses is going to trial on Wall Street.
    
A judge has rejected a settlement between the securities and exchange commission and Bank of America.
    
That is the company that bought Merrill Lynch with the knowledge its executives were receiving $3.6 billion in parting bonuses.
    
Taxpayers ended up footing the bill when the bonuses affected Bank of America's bottom line.

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.