Obama HATES Wall Street

February 2, 2009 6:14 PM EST
It is pretty clear from the comments that President Barack Obama has made since he was elected President, that he hates Wall Street and all that it represents. He has set his sights on the once-high flying but now beleaguered sector and the bonus structure that compensates the ivy leaguers that grace its halls.

Here are the striking comments from Obama addressing Wall Street directly since he was elected President:

  • Acceptance Speech Nov 5:
    "Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers."

  • January On ex-Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) John Thain's Elaborate Office Spending:
    Recent reports "about companies that have received taxpayer assistance, and then going out and renovating bathrooms, or offices, or other ways not managing those dollars appropriately" show the need for more scrutiny.
    Result: Thain said he will pay for the office

  • January on Citigroup's (NYSE: C) New $50M Jet:
    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs at a press briefing said that President Barack Obama "doesn't believe" using private jets "is the best use of money"-- at least not if that money is from a federally financed bailout package.
    Result: Jet cancelled

  • January on Wall Street Bonuses:
    President Barack Obama called the billions in bonuses paid on Wall Street last year "the height of irresponsibility" and "shameful." Obama intends to send a message to Wall Street that there is a time for profits and bonuses, and "now is not the time."
Wall Street is an easy target for Obama. Outside of the handful of Wall Streeters that made millions over the past few years, everyone hates it.

Wall Streeters at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and the others, are being blamed for the problems we've seen in the credit markets and now the economy. While it is pretty obvious that Wall Street played a key role in the royal screw-up that is called the U.S. financial system, it has also driven the massive growth this country has seen since the 80's. What will an America look like with no growth engine?

The thing I fear most from Obama's attacks on Wall Street is that he is also attacking capitalism. While there is much wrong with Wall Street, capitalism must survive. The bonus structure on Wall Street is ridiculous, and this needs to adjust. But it should be the shareholders of these companies that dictate that - not the government.

Putting collars on bonuses will not fix the economy, it will make it worse. Just like cars need engines to move, Wall Streeters needs money, and lots of it, to get the gears of the economy moving again.

Obama needs to focus less on restraining Wall Street, and more on stimulating Main Street.

With all due respect Mr. Obama, a thriving Wall Street is the sign of a growing Main Street.

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