Wall Street is back in charge

Wall Street has regained its role as top dog in the country again. That was evidenced yesterday when three of the nation’s top bankers phoned in to the big meeting at the White House with Barack Obama. Or as The New York Times put it, “Putting Obama on Hold, in a Hint of Who’s Boss” :

President Obama didn’t exactly look thrilled as he stared at the Polycom speakerphone in front of him. “Well, I appreciate you guys calling in,” he began the meeting at the White House with Wall Street’s top brass on Monday.

He was, of course, referring to the three conspicuously absent attendees who were being piped in by telephone: Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; John J. Mack, chairman of Morgan Stanley; and Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Citigroup.

Their excuse? “Inclement weather,” according to the White House. More precisely, fog delayed flights into Reagan National Airport. (In the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the absent bankers were at least self-aware enough to try to fly commercial.)

That awkward moment on speakerphone in the White House, for better or worse, spoke volumes about how the balance of power between Wall Street and Washington has shifted again, back in Wall Street’s favor.

I have to admit, I thought the same thing when I saw the clip of Obama talking into the phone. Then, I saw the list of the three who didn’t make the meeting: CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.

So, that didn’t take long. Just a year after Wall Street destroyed the economy for most Americans, things couldn’t be better for the financial titans. Nice work, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers.

I bet you didn’t think this would be the case a year ago at this time. I sure didn’t.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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