Entries in Wall Street (5)


Rick Perry Harps on Cozy Ties Between Washington and Wall Street

Alex Wong/Getty Images(JOHNSTON, Iowa) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry continued to criticize the Washington establishment Thursday, this time taking issue with what he suggested are cozy ties between Wall Street and the federal government.

Perry made his point at a “town hall” session in Johnston, Iowa with employees of Pioneer Hi-Bred, the largest producer of hybrid seeds in the United States, after a member of the audience asked how he’d prevent CEOs of financial institutions from allowing their companies to fail.

“I happen to think Wall Street and Washington, D.C., have been in bed together way too long,” Perry said.  “One of the reasons that the establishment really doesn’t like me and really doesn’t like my tax plan is because they know I’m going to show up in Washington, D.C., with a sledgehammer and they’re not going to like it.  And that’s exactly what I think this country needs in Washington, is somebody who’s not afraid to go in and really crush that system.”

Perry argued some federal banking regulations originated as a “knee-jerk reaction,” and he said he never would have supported a bailout.

“Dodd Frank and that banking regulation that came into place after the Wall Street debacle was a knee-jerk reaction by Washington, D.C., that actually has put us in substantially worse position than we were before,” he said.  “It institutionalized what they were trying to keep from happening in the federal government bailout.  I would never have bailed anybody out.  When you make really bad decisions, if you are big too fail, you are too big -- and I don’t care whether you’re a country or whether you’re a corporation or whether you’re a small business down on Main Street, and I sure haven’t seen any small businesses being bailed out by government.”

Perry reiterated his view that the federal government should not meddle with issues that should be left to the states.

“I’m the first to tell people, I’m not a big fan of Washington, D.C.,” Perry said.  “I think they need to do a few things and do those few things really well, but I don’t think they have the intellectual firepower to decide how one size can fit all these 50 laboratories of innovations that are out here called states.”

Perry closed his town hall by posing a new question to the audience about the state of their lives, asking, “Are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago?”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Seven in 10 See Wall Street Negatively, with Dems Leading the Way

Ben Hider/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Seven in 10 Americans have an unfavorable impression of the financial institutions on Wall Street, a point of resonance with the protesters camped out in Lower Manhattan and elsewhere.

But while that sentiment is broadly shared, its intensity rests heavily on political partisanship.

Groups such as Democrats and liberals express the most negative views of Wall Street in this ABC News/Washington Post poll.  Conservatives and Republicans are less apt to slam the brokers and bankers, and more likely to direct their ire at the federal government.

Given this partisan and ideological cast, the results make the Occupy Wall Street movement seem like an expression on the Left, of the same kind of frustration voiced by the Tea Party movement on the right. Simply put, one group rails against big business, and the other is critical of big government.

Overall, this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds that 70 percent of Americans see Wall Street unfavorably, and essentially as many -- 68 percent -- hold an unfavorable opinion of the government in Washington.

Negative views of Wall Street soar to 84 percent among liberal Democrats, versus 59 percent among conservative Republicans.  Negative views of the government in Washington, meanwhile, reach 89 percent among conservative Republicans, versus 57 percent among liberal Democrats.

Sharp differences also appear in intensity of sentiment.  Fifty-six percent of liberal Democrats have a “strongly” negative opinion of Wall Street, as opposed to 32 percent of conservative Republicans.  By contrast, 69 percent of conservative Republicans have a strongly negative view of the federal government, compared with 32 percent of liberal Democrats.

Partisanship isn’t the only factor in views of Wall Street.  It’s rated more negatively by better-off Americans, and more strongly negatively by those approaching retirement age, two groups that may have been particularly exposed to the market’s troubles.

Among Americans age 50 to 64, 55 percent have a strongly unfavorable view of Wall Street institutions, markedly higher than among other age groups.  And overall negative views rise from 66 percent in less-than $50,000 households to 78 percent among those who are better off.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty: Stock Market Woes 'Another Wake-Up Call' for Obama

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(JOHNSTON, Iowa) -- Only hours after the closing bell rang on Wall Street to bring to an end one of the worst days in the history of the stock market, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty pointed the finger of blame squarely at President Obama, saying it should serve as "another wake-up call."‬

"It's another wake-up call to a president who seems just so out of touch and inept and really doesn't have a plan to fix the economy.  I do," Pawlenty told ABC News in a brief interview after his event Monday afternoon at a cafe in Johnston, Iowa.  "We've got to cut taxes, we've got to lighten up on the regulations, we've got to do things to encourage job growth in this country, not have it suffocated by overreaching, burdensome government."

"Look, this problem has been brewing for a lot of years and a lot of decades, but he made it exponentially worse," Pawlenty added.‬

The former Minnesota governor spoke minutes after wrapping up a campaign event in front of a packed house at Rich's Brew, a cafe on the outskirts of Des Moines.‬

"The Standard & Poor's downgrade that occurred at the end of last week is another symptom, another indicator of how far off track our nation has become under President Obama's failed and misguided leadership.  I think it's time we downgrade Barack Obama from the presidency of the United States and move him back to the private sector," Pawlenty told the crowd at the event.‬

Towards the end of Pawlenty's remarks, a Johnston resident named Randy Forte interrupted him to urge him to "give them hell" at Thursday's GOP debate in Ames.  Pawlenty's performance at the last debate in New Hampshire was widely criticized, marked by his failure to take on frontrunner Mitt Romney despite coining the term "ObamneyCare" the day earlier.‬

"This is the time for all of us to put our shoulders back and roll up our sleeves and get it done, so we need you," Pawlenty said to the crowd.  "If good people do nothing then the goofballs take over. "‬

"You've got to give them hell Thursday," Forte yelled from the back of the room.  "You've got to get up there and give them hell."‬

"We will," replied Pawlenty.  "But Ames on Saturday is where you can really give some additional help to our campaign."‬

Forte later told ABC News that he wanted Pawlenty to drop some of his "Midwestern nice" attitude and get people "stirred up."‬

"He's a Midwesterner.  He's a kind and decent guy and very polite.  He'll let other people get things stirred up," Forte explained.  "What he's got to do is he's got to do some of that stirring.  He's got to let go of some of that Midwestern-ness and go after the people, the folks on the dais with him, but in particular go after Obama."‬

All the same, Forte said he intends to vote for Pawlenty in Saturday's straw poll.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Meeting with Wall Street Execs Comes Under Fire

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With campaign fundraising in full swing, President Obama is under fire for hosting a Democratic National Committee-sponsored meeting with key Wall Street supporters at the White House.

On Tuesday, two former Bush administration lawyers questioned the meeting, saying it highlights the fine line between official and political events.

On March 7, the president met with Wall Street executives, some of whom are campaign contributors, in the Blue Room of the White House, according to The New York Times, which suggested that the DNC organized the event to reach out to donors.

“If it’s an official capacity meeting...the DNC should not be organizing the meeting.  The White House should be organizing the meeting.  If the DNC is setting up the meeting, that is a political meeting,” Richard Painter, former associate White House counsel to President George W. Bush, testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Painter did, however, admit that he did not know all of the facts about the meeting and was hearing “conflicting views” about whether it was of a political or official nature.

“One can look at that as political activity if you look at the circumstances and note that the DNC committee coordinated that event and issued the invitation for it,” Scott Coffina, also a former Bush White House counsel, said at the hearing.

“You get into this very fine line that’s difficult to draw.  It looks like the content was official but, certainly the population of attendees and probably the purpose of it was partisan political,” he added.

The White House has adamantly defended the meeting, which was not on the president’s public schedule that day, insisting that it was not a fundraiser and that it’s “totally precedented” for the president to have a DNC-organized meeting at the White House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


S&P's Credibility Under Fire Amid US Debt Warning

Standard & Poor's Financial Services(WASHINGTON) -- Standard & Poor's sent shockwaves through Wall Street and Washington when it lowered its outlook on U.S. federal debt to "negative," but the credit-rating agency's own credibility has recently been called into question.

In fact, just last week a Senate investigations subcommittee ripped Standard & Poor's in a comprehensive report on the financial meltdown. The bipartisan report -- issued by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. -- in part blamed S&P for the crisis, saying the agency had inflated ratings on mortgage-backed securities for their own profit, only to later downgrade those ratings, destroying the value of the securities and contributing to the crisis.

In short, the senators say, "Inaccurate AAA credit ratings introduced risk into the U.S. financial system and constituted a key cause of the financial crisis."

The credibility of S&P is especially significant in the wake of the rating agency's statement on Monday that it was starting to lose faith in the government's creditworthiness. While S&P maintained its best-possible AAA rating for US federal debt, the firm lowered its outlook from "stable" to "negative." The statement means the agency now thinks there is a one-in-three chance that it will reduce the rating of the bonds in the next few years.

The S&P report quickly reverberated from Wall Street to Washington. On Monday major market indicators recorded their biggest one-day drop in more than a month. In Washington -- where a debate is raging on whether to raise the country's debt ceiling -- lawmakers pounced on the report for partisan gains.

The inability of Congress to rein in the nation's soaring deficits in recent years was at the heart of S&P's concerns. However, the agency did applaud new efforts from both sides of the aisle to tackle the country's long-term fiscal problems.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio