Remember back in 2008, when Wall Street was a huge supporter of soon-to-be-President Barack Obama? Fast-forward six years and the sentiment has changed quite a bit. In fact, bankers appear to have more gripes with the president than virtually any other population.
A new poll conducted in late October found that just 17% of financial industry participants approve of the job Obama has done, with 73% disapproving. That’s a stark contrast from the general population, which gives Obama a 41% approval/54% disapproval rating, according to the U.S. Midterm Elections Survey, which surveyed around 200 bankers. Roughly half of all respondents gave Obama an “F” grade when it comes to his performance on issues concerning the U.S. financial services industry.
The president can at least feel good that he is not the only one receiving dirty looks from Wall Street. Just 8% of bankers think Congress is performing well, so he’s in good company I guess?
As one would imagine, Wall Street’s donations to Democrats have dried up as Obama’s approval rating among bankers has plummeted. In 2008, roughly 20% of Obama’s overall donations came from Wall Street. This year, banks like Goldman Sachs have given two-thirds of their donations to the Republican Party. Around 70% of financial services workers would like to see Republicans control the Senate.
The reason for all the Obama hate wasn’t detailed in the study, but there are several reasons to choose from. Larger taxes for high earners, regulatory measures aimed to moderate risk but that also limit profitability, and his general stance on banker pay, to name a few.
Back in July, Obama said that profit incentives at big banks were an “unfinished piece of business” for his administration, and that he would take “additional steps” to rein in risky trading behavior.
Interestingly, 88% of respondents said that financial markets will perform better if Republicans win control of the Senate. While it’s not apples-to-apples, the markets historically perform much better with a Democrat in the White House. Since 1901, the S&P is up 12.1% per year under a Democratic president. It’s up just 5.1% per year under a Republican administration.
Goldman Sachs recently hosted a webinar to spell out some do’s and don’ts for banking resumes. Here are the highlights.
Why are you getting no response when you apply for banking jobs? Recruiters quietly explain their reasons for binning CVs.
Former UBS wealth-management chief Raoul Weil has been acquitted of charges that he helped U.S. citizens evade taxes in Switzerland. That’s good news for other bankers who may face criminal charges moving forward. The jury took just an hour to acquit Weil.
J.P. Morgan is officially facing a U.S. criminal probe into its foreign exchange dealings. The bank is increasing its legal reserves by another $1.3 billion, so a deal with regulators could come soon.
Bank of Nova Scotia is cutting its workforce, big time. The bank is culling 1,500 jobs, the most any Canadian lender has cut in a decade. Two-thirds of the job cuts will be in Canada, including some executive positions.
Meet Robert Mercer, the reclusive hedge fund manager who controls an even more secretive hedge fund, algorithmic trading firm Renaissance Technologies. Mercer hates talking, doesn’t like being in the public and loves model trains. He is also a big fan of giving money to conservative political causes.
The ex-CEO and chairman of a prominent Baltimore bank claims that he was also acting as an operative for the CIA, including helping with some early work searching for Osama Bin Laden.
Buzz Around the Office
A Canadian man who booked a trip around the world for him and his girlfriend is facing a predicament now that the duo is broken up. He’s already paid for the tickets and one is in her name. Thinking on his feet, he posted an ad online offering free tickets for anyone sharing his ex-girlfriend’s name who’s interested in a travel companion. Brilliant.
Quote of the Day: “I said ‘Mom, I have something I want to tell you. I’m very proud that I did serve my country, not only in the Air Force but I was an agent for the CIA.’ And she looks up and says ‘Can you pass the broccoli, please?’” – former banker Ed Hale on his alleged involvement with the CIA