Today, President Obama participated in a live CNBC townhall event. Recently, Obama has been feeling the “rage of the rich,” as Paul Krugman describes it today. One top Wall Street executive recently compared Obama’s tax proposals to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. During today’s discussion, Anthony Scaramucci, a CNBC contributor who is also a hedge fund manager, stood up to represent the aggrieved “Wall Street community.”
Scaramucci told Obama, “We have felt like a piñata,” complaining that “we certainly feel like we’ve been whacked with a stick.” Obama responded that Scaramucci needs to put things into perspective:
Now, you know, I have been amused over the last couple years, this sense of somehow me beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks on Main Street feel like they got beat up on. … There’s — there’s a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft on Wall Street. That’s probably the majority, not the minority.
Obama went on to note that the top 25 hedge fund managers took home $1 billion in profits last year. “If you’re making $1 billion a year after a very bad financial crisis where 8 million people lost their jobs and small businesses can’t get loans,” Obama said, “then I think that you shouldn’t be feeling put upon,” Watch it:
Indeed, 54 percent of respondents in a recent WSJ/NBC poll said Obama has “fallen short” on improving oversight of Wall Street and the banks, despite his signing of a new law that will put in place the most significant improvements to the nation’s regulatory framework since the New Deal.
The Wall Street Journal notes today that business groups are working with the GOP to compile a wish-list of regulations they’d like to see stopped or repealed. It’s no surprise, then, that Wall Street executives have been contributing upwards of 70 percent of their political contributions to Republicans.