Obama signs 'never again' financial law

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US president Barack Obama yesterday signed into law the most comprehensive financial regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression and vowed there will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street.

"Because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes," Mr Obama said at a signing ceremony for the legislation approved by the US Congress last week. The bill targets the kind of Wall Street risk-taking that helped trigger a financial meltdown and also aims to strengthen consumer protections.

Mr Obama has drawn fire from Americans for bank bailouts that began under the Republican President George Bush and which he has continued. He said the legislation's provisions make clear that no firm is protected because it is deemed "too big to fail", such as AIG during the financial meltdown.

"There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. Period," he said. "If a large financial institution should ever fail, this reform gives us the ability to wind it down without endangering the broader economy."

Mr Obama spoke to an audience of about 400 people that included Wall Street bankers, individuals hurt by the 2007-09 financial crisis, and lawmakers. The Senate last week gave final approval to the far-reaching legislation sought by the Obama administration to tighten rules on Wall Street in an effort to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis.