Since President Obama took office, corporate earnings and profits have soared. The major stock market indexes have grown at a remarkable pace. After a decade in which private sector employment struggled badly, American businesses have added over 5 million jobs in the last two years.
One might think, against a backdrop like this one, Wall Street would not only be delighted, but would also be reluctant to change course. But that’s not the case at all – the financial industry has come to hate President Obama with the heat of a thousand suns. This includes Goldman Sachs, which supported Obama in the past, but which has now invested heavily in Mitt Romney and Romney’s super PAC.
I can appreciate why financial giants like Goldman Sachs would be somewhat cross – Obama did create new safeguards and layers of accountability for Wall Street – but the whining is a bit much.
The last straw for many came two weeks later. At the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, the president drew laughs at their expense. “All of the jokes here tonight are brought to you by our friends at Goldman Sachs,” Mr. Obama said, referring to the SEC allegations. “So you don’t have to worry – they make money whether you laugh or not.”
Really? A joke at a dinner was “the last straw”? I realize Wall Street can be thin-skinned, but it’s disconcerting to think it’s become this ridiculous.
To be sure, it wasn’t just the Correspondents Dinner. Goldman Sachs apparently expected the White House to seek its input on Wall Street reform.
Regardless, Alec MacGillis notes the larger political dynamic: “Wall Street’s thin skin is absurd and infuriating, but for Democrats there has been a silver lining to it for most of this campaign: the lines of support have been clarified.”
Quite right. The right desperately wanted to muddy the waters, suggesting it was ambiguous which party and candidate really enjoyed the financial industry’s political backing. There’s no ambiguity anymore – Wall Street thinks Obama was insufficiently deferential, so they’re all in for the Republican who’s vowed to roll back all those pesky regulations to the way they were before the 2008 crash.