May 14th, 2012
08:42 PM ET
Washington (CNN)-Less than a week after President Barack Obama made history by endorsing same-sex marriage, the president would not commit to fighting to have the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, be repealed. In an interview on ABC's "The View" Mr. Obama reiterated his administration's decision to stop defending the law in the courts. "My justice department has said to the courts we don’t think the defense of marriage act is constitutional this is something that historically had been determined at the state level, and part of my believing ultimately that civil unions weren’t sufficient." But pressed further if he would fight to repeal DOMA, Mr. Obama would only say, "Congress is clearly on notice that I think it’s a bad idea."
And in the wake of the stunning news that JP Morgan Chase lost $2 billion dollars in risky derivatives trading, Mr. Obama called the bank's CEO one of the nation's smartest bankers but also pressed the need for Wall Street reform.
"First of all JP Morgan is one of the best managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon the head of it is one of the best banker’s we’ve got and they still lost two billion dollars and counting precisely because they were making bets in these derivative markets." he said.
"This is why we passed Wall Street reform. This is the best or one of the best managed banks. You can have a bank that isn’t as strong isn’t as profitable and we might have had to step in and that’s exactly why Wall Street reform is so important."
April 17th, 2012
10:37 AM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Under pressure to bring down the high price of gas, today President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder will outline a proposal to increase federal supervision of the oil markets in an effort to clip the wings of speculators who are profiting off the volatility of the oil market.
The Presidents $52 million plan would let regulators force energy traders to put more of their own money into trades and also boost the penalties on manipulators who are found to be speculating unlawfully, according to a senior administration source who would not comment on the record in advance of the president's remarks.
The President will call on Congress to:
– Boost spending on technology to improve better oversight and surveillance of energy markets.
– Increase by six times the money spent on surveillance and enforcement staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to better deter oil market manipulation.
– Increase from $1 million to $10 million civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation.
– In an effort designed to limit energy market disruptions, give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to increase the amount of money that a trader must put up to back a trading position.
The Obama administration plans to increase access to the commission's data so the White House Council of Economic Advisers can examine and analyze trading information, which the administration can do on its own.
This effort is likely to be seen as a political move designed to draw contrasts with the Republican party and especially presumptive nominee Mitt Romney on energy issues. House Republicans are unlikely to pass a measure that seeks to impose more limits on Wall Street at a time when they are seeking to limit regulations on the finance industry. At the same time Republican leaders are calling on the White House to open up more domestic land for oil and gas exploration.
The White House is pinpointing Wall Street for the high price of gas which could afford the President an opening to criticize Romney and his ties to the world of high finance.