This is disturbing. Obama meets with various CEOs on how to get out of the financial mess.
Obama is seeking support for his plan to stabilize the U.S. financial system and move beyond the furor over bailouts and bonuses. He met with CEOs including Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co., John Mack of Morgan Stanley, Vikram Pandit of Citigroup Inc. and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The meeting began with a discussion about the need to deal with toxic assets and increase bank lending, then moved onto Obama’s plan to resolve the housing crisis, and his proposals for revamping regulations and executive compensation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
“They agreed on the need to update the framework of regulation,” Gibbs told reporters. Obama also emphasized the importance of “recognizing what the American public is going through in this economic crisis,” he said.
With the U.S. economic recovery tethered to the health of the financial industry, Obama has proposed a public-private partnership to soak up the banks’ toxic assets and help unlock credit, as well as new regulations on banks, hedge funds, private-equity firms and derivatives markets.
“It’s terribly important that an environment of consensus replace the polarization of recent weeks,” said former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt, now a senior adviser to the Carlyle Group based in Washington and a board member of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News. “It’s essential to the business community that they be very much part of this process,” Levitt said yesterday.
The gathering is the latest in a continuing engagement with the business community, White House advisers said. Obama has held meetings with Dimon and Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of New York-based American Express Co., as well as Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, over the last couple of months, they said.
‘All to Help’
“The president made it clear that he’d like this country to get back on track,” Dimon told Bloomberg Television after today’s meeting. “He wants us all to help.”
While executives told reporters they understood financial regulations needed revamping, they had different prescriptions for new rules. Proposals to bring back Depression-era regulations separating investment banking from commercial banking would be difficult to resurrect, Blankfein said.
“It’s hard to turn back the clock” on the rules, known as the Glass-Steagall Act, Blankfein said in an interview with Bloomberg Television after the meeting.
The Glass-Steagall Act that separated deposit-taking institutions from investment banks was overturned in 1999 with the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill.
Dear President Obama,
Stop doing sales, marketing, campaigning and consider instead talking to the many experts out here who are screaming from the roof tops on what needs to happen. It seems you will listen to anyone but them.