Obama and Wall Street


Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times reports that President Obama is trying to woo back Wall Street donors who supported him in 2008 but have since turned against him:

Last month, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, traveled to New York for back-to-back meetings with Wall Street donors, ending at the home of Marc Lasry, a prominent hedge fund manager, to court donors close to Mr. Obama’s onetime rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And Mr. Obama will return to New York this month to dine with bankers, hedge fund executives and private equity investors at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel.

“The first goal was to get recognition that the administration has led the economy from an unimaginably difficult place to where we are today,” said Blair W. Effron, an investment banker closely involved in Mr. Obama’s fund-raising efforts. “Now the second goal is to turn that into support.”

It’s hard not to have dueling reactions to this. On the one hand, I pretty much want to retch at the idea of Obama begging Wall Street for alms once again. Wall Street! On the other hand, Effron has a point: are Wall Street tycoons really so damn thin skinned that they’re letting the odd public reference to “fat cats” overwhelm the fact that Obama bailed them out with virtually no strings attached; proposed about the weakest set of financial reforms he could get away with; relentlessly batted away the hardline suggestions of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing; and has presided over a phenomenal rebirth of Wall Street profits over the past two years? Seriously?

Well, yes. After all, even weak financial reforms are more annoying than no financial reforms, which is what Republicans are offering — along with soothing reassurances that Wall Street’s masters of the universe had nothing to do with the financial crisis, no matter what that mean Mr. Obama keeps saying. Plus Obama also wants to raise their personal income tax rate by 4.6 percentage points. That’s unforgivable.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate