President Obama Signs Wall Street Reform Into Law

BY Murrey Jacobson  July 21, 2010 at 4:00 PM EDT

After nearly two years, tens of millions of dollars in lobbying, and fierce battles between Democrats, Wall Street and banks, President Barack Obama enacted a major overhaul Wednesday of regulations covering the financial sector.

It’s often been called the most sweeping package of financial regulation since the Great Depression — tackling Wall Street’s riskiest practices — and it’s also been derided as legislation that would make lending more difficult while failing to prevent another meltdown like the 2008 financial crisis.

Whichever view you take, there’s little doubt that the bill signed into law will lead to some big changes — more power and more review by (presumably) more aggressive regulators; limits on some trading activities with risky bets; efforts to bring some shadow banking into the publicly traded exchanges; and some protections for consumers from lending fees and other practices.

President Obama used the signing to take a victory lap in a ceremony attended by many Democrats, including the bill’s principal authors, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, as well as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. In contrast, there were neither many Republicans in the room, nor Wall Street CEOs, most of whom were not invited by the Obama administration.

You can probably see why when you watch here what the president said was achieved with the new law.