Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama cites decades of mistakes behind recession

President Barack Obama is offering a broad-scale overhaul of the financial system, saying hard times struck largely because a post-Depression era business regulatory scheme couldn't keep up with an increasingly global economy.

In remarks readied for the unveiling of new rules to govern business, Obama attributed much of the country's current problem to "a cascade of mistakes and missed opportunities" which happened over several decades.

His plan would bestow vast new powers on the Federal Reserve, authorizing it to oversee the entire financial system. It also would create a new consumer protection agency to guard against the types of abuses that played a big role in the current crisis.

The president said in his prepared remarks that "a culture of irresponsibility took root from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street."