About The President's Financial Regulation Speech
The White House couldn't let the one year anniversary of the fall of Lehman go by without it being "celebrated." At the very least the president had to say that things are much better now -- and they are -- than they were a year ago. He also had to say something to demonstrate to (please forgive me for using this phrase) "Main Street" that he knows it's still not happy.
But the real purpose of the speech was to refocus the financial services reform debate in Washington. The president may have been speaking to Wall Street executives, but the real audience was members of Congress, especially Democrats, some of who in the next few weeks will be marking up various pieces of financial services regulation legislation. He had to show that the general issue hasn't gotten lost in the health care debate and to say that the effort is still needed even if things seem to be better ("Normalcy cannot lead to complacency").
Immediately after the speech, the discussion on CNBC -- the financial channel that thinks it talks to and sometimes for Wall Street -- focused more on how what the president proposed could be implemented rather than whether it was needed.