Obama on Leno: These banks are profit-seekers, which is precisely why we need to regulate them

Our president made his fifth visit to the “Tonight” show with Jay Leno on Wednesday evening, and for me, one of the most painful moments of the interview came when the president yet again paraded his woefully inept and downright disquieting economic sensibilities by once more heaping blame on Everybody’s Favorite Financial Crisis Scapegoat, big finance. Stay with me, ’cause I’m running through this one line-by-line:


They’ve learned that I keep my promise to make sure that they pay back every dime with interest, which they have. We passed Wall Street reform, which they fought tooth and nail. But, what it did was is it made sure that they can’t make some of these same reckless bets.

One of the biggest drivers of the financial crisis was the federal government creating artificial, politically-driven incentives that moved these financial institutions to even make these “reckless bets.” Finance isn’t blameless, but how is more government involvement and control a desirable idea?

They’ve got to keep more capital so that if they make a bad bet, taxpayers don’t pick up the tab.

Yes, Mr. President — because of all people, you’re in a wonderful position to make sure taxpayers don’t pick up the tab of poor decision-making. (Ahem, stimulus, bailouts, green energy boondoggles, trillion-dollar yearly deficits, cough cough).

We put in place this consumer advocate that will work with families all across the country on things like mortgages, credit cards, payday loan operations, so that people have more information and they don’t get tricked into bad financial deals.

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Please, save us.

But, look, these financial institutions are in to make money and that’s why we need some smart regulations and this is an example of the difference in this campaign because my opponent says he wants to roll back all those regulations. These folks are not going to do it just out of a sense of guilt of what happened previously or because suddenly they feel charitable.


Firstly, the president has yet to sufficiently explain why a large, entrenched bureaucracy seeking political gain through fiat is somehow nobler than a private, productive business seeking monetary profit by meeting consumers’ choices. As Ammon Simon writes for Forbes, Dodd-Frank is the very definition of tyranny. Secondly, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are not financial anarchists, but yes, they do want to roll back these new economy-damaging, job-killing, small-bank-sinking regulations still being written that are protecting large institutions “too big to fail” status rather than mitigating it.

Rant, over.


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