WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama was set to sign Wednesday a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations, a signature achievement that comes nearly two years after Wall Street’s failures knocked the economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The new bill aims to usher in a new era of consumer protections and banking restrictions, representing a major legislative victory for Obama just before election-year politics overtakes the rest of his ambitious agenda.
The White House was planning a major signing ceremony featuring a long list of supporters of the legislation, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and Robert Diamond, president of Barclay’s PLC.
The law assembles a powerful council of regulators to be on the lookout for risks across the finance system and creates a new agency to guard consumers in their financial transactions. It places shadow financial markets that previously escaped the oversight of regulators under new scrutiny and gives the government new powers to break up companies that threaten the economy.