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Monday, June 13, 2011

Obama Gives In to Whining on Wall Street

In the end, money wins:

Obama Seeks to Win Back Wall St. Cash, by Nicholas Confessore, NY Times: A few weeks before announcing his re-election campaign, President Obama convened two dozen Wall Street executives, many of them longtime donors, in the White House’s Blue Room.
The guests were asked for their thoughts on how to speed the economic recovery, then the president opened the floor for over an hour on hot issues like hedge fund regulation and the deficit.
Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend.
The event, organized by the Democratic National Committee, kicked off an aggressive push by Mr. Obama to win back the allegiance of one of his most vital sources of campaign cash. ...[H]e has suffered some unusually public defections and criticism by some former Wall Street supporters, who view his policies and rhetoric as unfair to their industry. Many are Republicans whose support last time around burnished his image as a post-partisan problem solver. ...
One Democratic financier invited to this month’s dinner, who asked for anonymity because he did not want to anger the White House, said it was ironic that the same president who once criticized bankers as “fat cats” would now invite them to dine at Daniel, where the six-course tasting menu runs to $195 a person. The donor declined the invitation.

The unemployed are really unhappy too. And unlike Wall Street executives they actually have a legitimate reason to complain. But unfortunately and obviously -- they're unemployed -- they don't have gobs of money to contribute to a reelection campaign. If they did, through unions or some other means, things might have been different:

A few weeks before announcing his re-election campaign, President Obama convened two dozen experts in the White House’s Blue Room to work on plans for job creation. 

But that's not what happened.

The interests of the unemployed are not always the same as the interests of the financial community. Deficit reduction, for example, is favored by the financial community as insurance against financial market problems but it could hurt the ability of the economy to create jobs. The fact that we've heard so much about deficit reduction in recent months even though is no actual evidence that bond markets are worried about this problem is an indication of which group has more influence over the course of policy.

    Posted by on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 12:33 AM in Economics, Links, Politics | Permalink  Comments (37)


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