U.S. to Wall Street: Less Hands-On, More Eyes Over

Uncle Sam is wearing many hats these days, one year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers marked a seismic shift in the economic landscape.

As The New York Times writes today, government spending (which today includes stimulus programs and bailouts) accounts for a bigger share of the nation's economy — 26 percent — than at any time since World War II.

The Times notes that U.S. taxpayers currently own 60 percent of General Motors, and are financing 9 out of 10 new mortgages in the U.S.

And while today, about a year after the banking bailout, there are signs that the worst is over — 5 of the nation's biggest banks are posting second quarter profits totaling $13 billion, more than double what they made a year ago — the Times' Edmund L. Andrews and David E. Sanger write that the U.S. government is finding it hard to extricate itself from its roles as "the nation's biggest lender, insurer, automaker and guarantor against risk for investors large and small."

The White House hopes it can eventually scale back its role in the financial sector. As White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told "60 Minutes," "The president doesn't want to be someone who runs auto companies or bails out banks."

So it is with great interest that Wall Street will be listening to what Mr. Obama has to say today as .

A new poll says 7 out of 10 Americans don't believe the government has done enough to prevent it from happening again, reports CBS News correspondent Ross Palombo.

Mr. Obama is expected to call for more government regulation of the banking Industry.

But it won't just be up to the government to fend off another economic crisis. President Obama is counting on the financial sector to support his proposal and keep itself honest, said CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson.

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.