Press Center

 Statement from Secretary Lew on the Five-Year Anniversary of the Financial Crisis


“Five years ago, a devastating crisis hit our financial system.  The ensuing economic recession, unlike anything we had seen since the Great Depression, was not caused by a single firm or a single event.  It was the culmination of many factors, including excessive risk taking, the accumulation of too much debt, and an outdated regulatory structure.  

“The swift emergency response that began on a bipartisan basis helped the financial system to stabilize and our economy start growing again.  Today, taxpayers will be repaid for the extraordinary investments we made in the financial system, but we are still healing from the deep damage the crisis did to our economy. Because President Obama took up the mantle of reform and made Dodd-Frank the law of the land, our financial system is now safer, stronger, and more resilient than it was before the crisis.  In fact, financial markets are more transparent, we have new tools to monitor risk and wind down companies whose failure would threaten the entire financial system and Americans have a dedicated consumer watchdog looking out for them.  In addition, because of these efforts and other policies to strengthen the recovery, private employers have added 7 and a half million jobs over the past 42 months.   

“As we finish the remaining elements of Wall Street reform this year, we must remember that financial reform is not about writing a set of rules and then walking off the field. We must remain vigilant and respond immediately to new risk in the financial system. Reforming Wall Street is ultimately about an enduring commitment to making our financial system a model of stability and safety that contributes to job creation and economic growth.”  



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