April 22nd, 2010
03:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Wall Street to Obama: Hands off!

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/22/art.wallstreet.gi.jpg caption=" Reactions of nearly a dozen financial industry workers to President Obama's argument for financial reform ranged from skepticism to animosity."] New York (CNNMoney.com) - Misguided. Unworkable. Hypocritical.

Wall Street was unimpressed by President Obama's argument for financial reform on Thursday. The reaction of nearly a dozen financial industry workers ranged from skepticism to animosity.

"It doesn't seem necessary for him to come down here," said Frank Clemente, a stock broker. "It's all political, not any real reform."

Clemente was particularly annoyed that Obama criticized the financial industry after having accepted political contributions from Goldman Sachs during his presidential campaign.

"He took their money before, so it's kind of hypocritical to attack them now," he said.

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Filed under: President Obama • Wall Street
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. REG in AZ

    Government needs to tell Wall Street 'ENOUGH!', whether they want to hear it or not. No one really wants taxes increased but there actually is a more costly circumstance for the majority. The anger today is pointed at taxes and government spending but the strong emotions actually came from the drastic decline in individual financial stability. What we need today is to check the factors that feed into both declining status and increasing taxes. We need to not tolerate returning to 'more of the same'. We literally need to support change with financial reform, political reform, immigration reform,,, and yes, Health Care reform to prevent the continuing exploitation of the many (>90%) by the few (<5%). And to do that we need to avoid being manipulated by the con, by the aggressive scare tactics and deceptive emotional appeals to our self-interests that just aim to continue government’s patronizing and placating of Special Interests and the select few, that attempts to rationalize returning to 'more of the same'. That con is what is scary, as if it should work, people would then support what they think is in their best interests only to condone 'more of the same' that facilitated the problems. To ever achieve control over the size of government and yet to still continue allowing the predatory practices is to maintain a drastically loosing proposition. We desperately need real change and to hold government responsible for change that makes a difference and that doesn't just serve their political ambitions. The point is not to delude ourselves into accepting less than real enforcement of strong rules.

    April 22, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Molly Weasley

    Let's all say this together: Obama accepted donations FROM EMPLOYEES of Goldman Sachs, not Goldman Sachs. When you have an unprecedented number of people donating to a campaign, the majority of people of whom have less than $200, some of those are going to be from the financial industry.

    That's one talking point that just doesn't fly.

    April 22, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Ben

    Obama's hypocrisy is the least of his problems.

    April 22, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Chris

    @Clemente, I think a lot of politicians took Goldman money however let not forget they were making money in a under handed way, so don't knock the President because Wall Street is dirty and he is calling them to the floor on it!!!

    April 22, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mr. President: DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO!!!! You taking campaign contributions from ANY COMPANY OR INDIVIDUAL does NOT mean that you have to play footsies with them.

    After all, I SENT YOU MONEY so what?????!

    Take it to them Mr. President, TAKE IT TO THEM!!!!!!

    April 22, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    It doesn't matter if it is the GOP or the Democrats, both parties are too cozy with Wall Street and banking. Campaign contributions from Business and Global Corporations should not be legal to start with.
    Only Contributions from individual eligible votes should be allowed and then restricted to within the voter district that person wishing to represent.
    But it will never happen when billions are raised for elections, and the only ones who can stop it is Washington themselves. It like the wolf watching the hen house the corruption is so deep in our Government.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    April 22, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Johnathan

    Stock traders are the lowest life form next to lawyers and republican politicians.

    April 22, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Papasan in Az

    What is Wall Street crying about all they got was a slap on the wrist?
    You'd think they had been asked to put America back to work, or stop the Banks from foreclosing on Main Street USA.
    Apparently Wall Street forgot that it was US Tax payers that Bailed them OUT! Next time I think we should but them on hold like the Bail Out for Main Street has been put on hold...

    Just a thought from Foreclosed Main Street USA

    Good Luck and don't forget to write

    Papasan in AZ

    April 22, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Mini Carlsson

    Hypocritical? Why hide behind this word.
    He's trying to fix a wrong...btw, it's the industry YOU work for that is at fault here too, so don't try to avoid blame YOU ARE THE HYPOCRITICAL ONE Frank Clemente. BET YOU DID SOME WORK THE THE SHADOWS

    April 22, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. stevegee

    First they came for the car companies, then the health insurance companies, then the financial services companies, then they came for me.

    Wake up America! Obama is changing our country into a Socialist nightmare.

    November 2010 is our only hope. Vote Republican!

    April 22, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. geecee

    Yeah, and you Wall Street guys are all so honorable. Guess you did nothing wrong to contribute to the financial debacle this Country was faced with the past two years. Sure, we believe that. So don't cooperate with President Obama. No one expected you would, anyway.

    April 22, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    Maybe they'll just start playing fair on their own volition.

    April 22, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Time To Play Hardball ... No More Passes

    Screw you Wall Street

    April 22, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Oliver

    Hands OFF? You sure were not saying that 15 months ago when you were asking taxpayers to save your butt. Well, you can't have your cake and eat it too so you are going to have to obey the rules just like the rest of us.

    April 22, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Kitchen Police

    The President must of have made an impact on this "Den of Thieves." They don't produce anything but misery with their get quick rich lies to trusting investors. We don't want much. Just the hard earned money we have saved for our later years.

    April 22, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. al in memphis

    In a perfect world, Goldman or anyone donations would be to participate in the political process– not a leverage buy of political power. I don't agree that you can call Obama a hypocrite when we said all through his campaign that Wall Street needed reforming.

    Money and power go hand in hand, and these ego-minds think very little of being regulated about the level of risked they are willing to take. A lot of their practices about derivatives and other phoney investment vehicles are only about one step remove from the ENRON mess that destroyed so many people life savings.

    WHERE was Wall Street animostiy about 18 months ago when they were about to be put out of business and have foreign banks forcing them to have rummage sales to cover their losses.

    April 22, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Translation: "Waaaaaaaah, but I don't wanna make $5M...I wanna keep making $7M."

    ""He took their money before, so it's kind of hypocritical to attack them now," he said."

    THEY endorsed HIM by sending him money, not the other way around retard. The fact that a financial industry shmuck would even bring it up just proves that their brains are wired to think Obama should behave as though they purchased him.

    April 22, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Chut Pata

    "Hands off. You have no right to stop us from our birth right ... to screw American economy and rob middle class Americans from their pension funds and social security. Your only right is to bail us out with tax payers money whenever we accidentally screw ourself."

    April 22, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    "It doesn't seem necessary for him to come down here," said Frank Clemente, a stock broker. "It's all political, not any real reform."
    Of course it's all political. It's Obama. We should all know because of the performance of the variety of programs from this administration that they are not financial wizards. They are political manueverer's, so everything they do is by political calculation. Unfortunately, our fine health care system got caught up in that, too.

    April 22, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Me, In TX

    "It doesn't seem necessary for him to come down here," said Frank Clemente, a stock broker. "It's all political, not any real reform."

    Really? I must ask, Then what is real reform, Frank?

    AND Didn't The global financial crisis originate on Wall Street? Just because Goldman Sachs decided to contribute to his campaign DOES NOT preclude him from doing the right thing for the American people and right now that's Wall Street Regulation and reform.


    And this headline is misleading, Wall Street didn't say 'Hands Off!' Frank Clemente did. One guy does not speak for all of Wall Street.

    April 22, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. lolo

    So what, doesn't wall street contribute to all politicians to get what they want. It is just that the republicans gave them what they wanted. Obama is not the one to be bought off. Now take that to the bank.

    April 22, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. rdepontb

    More heckling from the unwashed twits in the village. Cheney really opened the door for this type of civil breakdown, didn't he. Probably the same way he sandbagged Bush and the rest of the nation.

    April 22, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    Ungrateful thugs. Next time we need to let wall street float down to the Hudson, Let's see how far those undeserved bonuses get you.

    April 22, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Pat F

    Kind of hypocritical?

    Yes, like the Grand Canyon is kind of big from some angles.

    April 22, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. KMAN821

    I believe John Stewart best reflects my thoughts and words to Wall Street ... "G F Y"!! They've been doing it to US for quite some time now!! Just what is it that THEY actually produce?

    April 22, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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