Obama: US Not Overregulating; Iran Election Won't Alter Policy

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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President Obama told CNBC on Tuesday that the US is not in danger of overregulating the economy and that the outcome of the Iranian election will not make that much difference in his adminstration's policies toward that country.

"If we've got rules of the road, that's what makes capitalism thrive," Obama said in a taped interview. "That's why people invest in this country."

On his proposed overhaul of financial regulation, which will be formally announced on Wednesday, the president said reforms are needed to protect American consumers.

"I think what we focused on was number one, do we have the tools to precent the kinds or risks we saw last September, and we didn't," he said. "Did we have a means of anticipating problems and regulating the non-bank sector. We concluded we did not have those powers and we put them in place."

Obama said that consumer protection was "scattered all over the place and we are putting in place the tools to protect people."

As for regulating banks, Obama said, "What we do have under our proposal for tier one institutions, that if they fail, they will be under one regulatory body. For smaller banks the FDIC has done a good job on that, and they can continue what they do."

As for the disputed presidential elections in Iran, Obama said it won't make that much difference to the US what the eventual outcome is.

"I think it's important to understand that although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, the difference in actual policies between Ahmadinejad and Moussavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as advertised," he said. "I think it's important to understand that either way we are going to be dealing with a regime in Iran that is hostile to the US. We have long term interests in not having them with nuclear power and funding terrorism."

For more stories from CNBC, go to cnbc.com.

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