Obama Bank Restrictions Met with Consternation on Wall Street Today

You didn’t have to watch CNBC or Bloomberg TV very long after President Obama’s remarks late this morning to experience Wall Street’s consternation. The Dow finished down 2.01%, and the S&P finished down 1.90%, as major banks got pounded.

When I talk to my clients, they understand Main Street’s anger at suffering prolonged unemployment and recession while the banks have already recovered enough to repay their TARP and pay out big bonuses. What they don’t understand is how President Obama could ignore the negative economic consequences of his bank tax and bank restrictions and the fragility of this recovery that will depend so heavily on restoring bank lending. They’re also skeptical that these remedies would prevent future financial crises.

A lot will depend upon the details of how these policies would work. We don’t have those in today’s remarks by President Obama or in the White House release. We’ll get more details in the President’s Budget on February 1.

One thing is clear, the populist sentiment behind punishing the banks is so strong that Congress seems unlikely to resist it. The banks launched a major lobbying effort today to stem that tide. This Politico article captures the by-play well.

About Pete Davis 99 Articles

Affiliation: Davis Capital Investment Ideas

Pete Davis advises Wall Street money managers on Washington policy developments that affect the financial markets. President of his own consulting firm since 1992, Davis Capital Investment Ideas, he draws on 11 years of experience as a Capitol Hill economist with the Joint Committee on Taxation (1974-1981), the Senate Budget Committee (1981-1983), and Senator Robert C. Byrd (1992). He worked in the House and Senate, and for Republicans and Democrats.

Davis brought the first computer policy model, the Treasury Individual Income Tax Model, to Capitol Hill in early 1974, when he became a revenue estimator on the Joint Committee on Taxation. He formulated the 1975 rebate, the earned income tax credit, the 1976 estate tax rates, the 1978 marginal tax rates, and the Roth-Kemp tax cut. He left Capitol Hill in 1983 for the Washington Research Office of Prudential-Bache Securities, where he advised investors for seven years.

Davis has long written a newsletter on the Washington-Wall Street connection for his clients; Capital Gains and Games is his first foray into the blogosphere.

Visit: Capital Gains and Games

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