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Obama invoked FDR's post-Depression leadership in calling for corporate reform, saying the mortgage lending crisis shows how the deck is stacked against American consumers.
Obama called for more disclosure and accountability in the housing market, including a federal definition of mortgage fraud, stiff penalties against lenders who "knowingly act in bad faith," and a "Home Score system" that would create a standard metric for home mortgages so consumers could easily compare various products. Obama also called for an immediate investigation of rating agencies, their relationships with clients, and their business practices. And he called for a credit card rating system so consumers know the level of risk involved in every credit card they sign up for.
"In recent years, we have seen a dangerous erosion of the rules and principles that have allowed our market to work and our economy to thrive," Obama said, according to his prepared remarks. "Instead of thinking about what's good for America or what's good for business, a mentality has crept into certain corners of Washington and the business world that says, 'what's good for me is good enough.'''
The speech kicked off what Obama's campaign says will be a multi-pronged prescription for the American economy. Tomorrow, Obama is set to unveil his plan to modernize and simplify the tax code. In future addresses, Obama will also address how to "ensure America's competitive edge in the 21st century" with education reforms, and strengthen the safety net for American workers hurt by free trade agreements.