Wall Street discontent high but Occupy Wall Street largely unknown
October 24th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Wall Street discontent high but Occupy Wall Street largely unknown

(CNN) – Although most Americans don't trust Wall Street, that hasn't translated into full support –or understanding– of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Despite large majorities who think that Wall Street bankers are greedy, overpaid and dishonest, four in ten don't have an opinion about the weeks-long protests, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.

Among those who have an opinion, the public is split on how they feel about Occupy Wall Street. Thirty-two percent of Americans say they have a favorable view of the movement that has spread from Wall Street to Chicago, and that even cropped up at the most recent CNN presidential debate in Las Vegas. Twenty-nine percent of the nation says they have an unfavorable view of Occupy Wall Street.

Full results (pdf)

But opinions are clear about Wall Street itself. Eight in ten say Wall Street bankers are greedy, 77% say they're overpaid, and two-thirds say Wall Street bankers are dishonest, a number that has gone up by a third in roughly two decades.

Over time, opinions about the financial center of the U.S. have gotten worse. In the 1990s, only 30% of the country said they had no trust at all in Wall Street to do what is best for the economy, 24 percentage points lower than now.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has grown from a group of demonstrators on Wall Street who vocalized discontent over the economy, unemployment, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and myriad other issues into protests across the nation from Boston to Seattle.

The survey was conducted for CNN by ORC International among 1,007 adults by telephone from October 14-16, 2011. It has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Associate Producer Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. focusonjobs1

    Oh stop with the misinformation, the movement is made of all age groups. There are employed as well as unemployed involved. The beauty of it is those who think it is BS have a right to voice their opinion as well as cast a vote, as well as those who agree that the system is rigged so 1% of the country has a huge percentage of the wealth which makes the American dream just that….a DREAM!! My bet is the 50% of Americans that make 26,000 a year as well as those who are unemployed will not be voting Republican.

    October 24, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Steveo

    @Ilya

    The lady that says, "people should be able to print their own money," typifies the IQ level of these protestors. Most don't even know why they are protesting, or if they do have a reason it is similar to the one already stated. Looks like more people with their hand out for the government dole to me. Want something given to them without having to do anything to earn it.
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    Realize that the "fringe" elements make the news! You cannot color an entire movement or group based upon a handful of folks!

    October 24, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Handofdoom

    President Obama's policy , what policy, " the one to U.S Citizens totally bankrupt " !

    October 24, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation."

    This one's easy: When 90% of the populace has been taught over several decades that there's no point to working hard because while they spend 30 years at a company and watch executive compensation skyrocket, their own salary will never change, they will spend 30 years paying off school loans, they may never be able to afford a home, they will drown in crippling consumer and household debt, they may not be able to afford having children and if they do they probably can't afford to educate them, that their employers would rather spend millions on buying the government than giving raises and good benefits, that their employers are actively paying for the election of politicians who will do everything in their power to make them more beholden and dependent on said employer for their job and benefits, even as both are attenuated, by taking away the safety net provided by the gov't for your retirement and health care when older, etc. etc. etc....when you do that, you deserve what's coming to you...as has come for every single plutocratic society in history. We're coming for you and there will be no quarter.

    October 24, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Dave3000

    There are many reasons the people are there...and for good reason...Look it up...CNN already has done a pole there and applied percentages to the top five reasons...So you can not support the occupation, but that is like saying you are okay with corporations being considered people and pouring money into campaigns and influencing the results in their favor...or corporations exploiting labor off-shore dramatically increasing the personal income for the top few while our young and educated people can't find jobs here...or perhaps you forgot about the millions of middle-class Americans who played by the rules and in 2007, thanks to Wall Street and the lack of regulation, lost their retirements and are practically living on the street...But then what I would really here you saying is that you are short a pint of compassion and are letting your political prejudice overwhelm your ability to support what is fair for all.

    October 24, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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