Obama Meets With Bank CEOs

(CBS)
President Obama met today met with the CEOs of 15 financial institutions, including the heads of Bank Of America, Citi, Freddie Mac and American Express.

According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the president found the conversation to be "good, productive and frank."

Topics discussed included toxic assets, bank lending, and the administration's housing plan, the last of which Gibbs, who noted that mortgage finance rates have hit historically low rates, said the CEOs discussed "positively."

Also touched on was regulatory reform. The press secretary said the CEOs "agreed on the need to update the framework of regulation."

Mr. Obama also stressed that Main Street and Wall Street need each other, according to Gibbs, who came directly to the White House briefing speaking with the president about the meeting.

The press secretary said that the president and the CEOs also discussed executive compensation, with the president stressing the importance of "recognizing what the American public is going through."

The CEOs are vowing to work to help turn around the economy; According to the Associated Press, John Stump of Wells Fargo told reporters "the goal here is to work together."

Some of the CEOs have spoken out against the legislation to tax at 90 percent the bonuses at AIG and other companies receiving bailout money. Gibbs said he did not know whether the topic came up in the meeting.

UPDATE: JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told CNBC that the meeting went "well over an hour" and that the president went around the room asking for opinions about various subjects. He said Mr. Obama let the CEOs discuss "anything they wanted to speak about."

"…not everyone agrees with everything but I think it is fabulous that [President Obama] and his team will spend the time to do that," Dimon said.

"TARP came up many times," he continued. "It has become a little bit of a scarlet letter...some needed it and some didn't. Everyone in the room is coming from the standpoint, they're going to do what's right for the United States Of America and not just their institution."

Dimon said Mr. Obama did not ask the CEOs to stop talking about returning the TARP money. JP Morgan Chase representatives have said that it didn't need the TARP money that Bush administration Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson asked them to take.

Dimon also discussed the conversation about executive compensation.

"…the president thinks that we should be very cognizant of the needs and desires and anger around the country on compensation," he said. "Look, I mean, I should be clear. A lot of mistakes were made around compensation. I think a lot of people in the room would agree with me, that we know mistakes were made. A lot of companies have good standards. At JP Morgan chase, we never had parachutes…but some went too far."

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