Here’s What Obama REALLY Thinks of Wall Street

Obama Wall Street

Remember, when election day finally arrived in November of 2008, Obama was unquestionably Wall Street’s political darling.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase were three of the top seven institutional donors to the Obama campaign, and UBS and Morgan Stanley weren’t too far behind. In fact Goldman was second only behind the University of California, according to the centre for Responsive Politics.

At this point, he must have kinda liked Wall St.

Not anymore! Since then, a lot has changed.

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[slide
permalink=”obama-used-to-love-jamie-dimon-1″
title=”Obama Used To Love Jamie Dimon”
content=”When: During a meeting in early 2009, Citi’s chairman reportedly had the floor when all of a sudden, Obama interrupted.

What Obama said: “All right, I’ll talk to Jamie.”
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permalink=”but-then-came-bonuses-and-the-break-up-2″
title=”But Then Came Bonuses and The Break-Up”
content=”When: The love began to fade quickly in March 2009 when Obama found out AIG was still planning on doling out hefty bonuses. Obama went over the head of Larry Summers (who’d made clear the sanctity of contracts meant nothing could be done) and demanded retribution.

What Obama said: ‘This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed… It’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers… I’ve asked Secretary Geithner to… pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses.’
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[slide
permalink=”still-some-cordiality-3″
title=”Still Some Cordiality”
content=”When: During a meeting at the White House in April 2009, Obama interrupted banker CEOs who were angling to get out from under TARP to preserve bonus facilities. At this point relations were still considered ‘cordial’.

What Obama said: “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that… My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks’
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[slide
permalink=”obama-and-the-fake-capitalists-4″
title=”Obama and the Fake Capitalists”
content=”When: In response to a comment Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein made about the necessity of bonuses to recruit talent, Obama coined one of his most derisive (and kind of poetic) Wall Street criticisms yet.

What Obama said: ‘Let me get this straight. They’re now saying that they deserve big bonuses because they’re making money again. But they’re making money because they’ve got government guarantees…. These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they’re doing is lip-syncing capitalism.’
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[slide
permalink=”the-bonuses-really-pissed-off-the-president-5″
title=”The bonuses really pissed off the President”
content=”When: On 60 Minutes Obama seethed as he condemned the “massive profits and obscene bonuses” of Wall Street and proclaimed, “We want our money back.”

What Obama said: “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.’
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[slide
permalink=”the-bff-break-up-for-real-6″
title=”The BFF Break-Up, For Real”
content=”When: In the summer of 2009, Obama began to outline plans for comprehensive regulatory reform of Wall Street.

What Obama said: Apparently too much, because in June, Jamie Dimon, his banker-BFF-no-more, wrote what was described as ‘a passive-aggressive op-ed’ against intervention in the Wall Sreet Journal.
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[slide
permalink=”more-bonus-blood-lust-7″
title=”More Bonus Blood Lust”
content=”When: It became obvious in September of 2009 that Wall Street bonuses were Obama’s pressure point – he was angry at Wall Street, but he hated compensation most of all.

What Obama said: ‘I want everybody here to hear my words: We will not go back to the days of reckless behaviour and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses.’
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[slide
permalink=”and-then-the-gloves-came-off-8″
title=”And then the gloves came off…”
content=”When: By January 2010, he’d had enough; Obama announced a tax on the 50 biggest banks that would raise up to $117 billion.

What Obama said: “We’re already hearing a hue and cry from Wall St suggesting that this proposed fee is not only unwelcome but unfair. That by some twisted logic it is more appropriate for the American people to bear the cost of the bailout… even though these executives are out there giving themselves huge bonuses. What I say to these executives is this: Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee… you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities.’
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[slide
permalink=”still-a-necessary-dialogue-the-exes-meet-again-9″
title=”Still, A Necessary Dialogue: The Exes Meet Again”
content=”When: Obama had lunch with Jamie Dimon on January 26 this year. He’s the only Wall Street CEO Obama had lunch with between June 25 2009 and July 1 this year, and that speaks volumes about who the President still views as his favourite, or perhaps most trusted, banker.

What Obama said: Via his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, ‘There are a lot of people in that lunch that have said things that are in disagreement with… the president. Simply because they might disagree on some issues doesn’t mean they’re not going to talk on a whole range of issues relating to the soundness of our economy.’
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[slide
permalink=”wall-street-warmongering-10″
title=”Wall Street Warmongering”
content=”When: In April, as Obama made the final rounds to win support for FinReg, he tried to strike a conciliatory tone with bankers like Lloyd Blankfein and his deputy, Gary Cohn, at Cooper Union in New York. His use of war symbolism, and his finger-pointing, may have undermined the peacemaking a bit.

What Obama said:We have seen battalions of financial industry lobbyists descending on Capitol Hill, firms spending millions to influence the outcome of this debate. We’ve seen misleading arguments and attacks that are designed not to improve the bill but to weaken or to kill it.’
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permalink=”wall-street-is-going-to-pay-for-their-mistakes-11″
title=”Wall Street is going to pay for their mistakes”
content=”When: In Wisconsin in June, attempts at peacemaking went out the window. Main Street was suffering and Wall Street was responsible. Obama railed against ‘Wall Street’s mistakes.’

What Obama said: ‘On Wall Street, the financial industry and its lobbyists spent years chipping away at rules and safeguards that could have prevented the meltdown… that was caused by Lehman Brothers and AIG…a disaster that nearly led to the collapse of our economy. Nearly a decade of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires led to little more than sluggish job growth and a smaller middle class.’
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[slide
permalink=”an-appreciation-of-wall-street-acumen-12″
title=”An Appreciation of Wall Street Acumen”
content=”When: May of 2010 this year, Obama publicly complimented the business prowess of Wall Street kingpins like Blankfein and Dimon. He said he didn’t “begrudge” Blankfein and Dimon their colossal bonuses. Ok, so he gets that its because of guys like this that the U.S had a golden age for as long as it did. But that doesn’t mean he has to like them.

What Obama said: “I know both those guys, they are very savvy businessmen.”
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permalink=”finreg-snubs-13″
title=”FinReg Snubs”
content=”When: The lead-up to the FinReg ceremony.

What Obama said: More like what he didn’t say. There was no invite for the CEO of the American Bankers Association or for the CEO of Wall Street’s flag bearer, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). But the Independent Community Bankers of America CEO was welcome.”
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permalink=”the-out-of-favor-duo-14″
title=”The Out-of-favour Duo”
content=”When: The lead-up to the FinReg ceremony and the controversial guest list.

What Obama said: Yes, please join us to Citi CEO Vikram Pandit; BOA CEO Brian Moynihan; Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman; UBS Americas CEO Robert Wolf; Barclays President Bob Diamond; two random interns. Stay away, you’re not welcome to Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein.”
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[slide
permalink=”regulation-passes-to-protect-america-from-shadowy-bankers-15″
title=”Regulation Passes to Protect America From Shadowy Bankers”
content=”When: On July 21, Obama reiterated who was to blame for the financial crisis as he signed FinReg into law.

What Obama said: ‘I signed into law a Wall St reform bill that will protect consumers and our entire economy from the recklessness and irresponsibility that led to the worst recession of our lifetime… put a stop to the abusive practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. It will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street firms. And it will finally bring the shadowy deals that caused the financial crisis into the light of day.’
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[slide
permalink=”the-peak-of-obamas-anger-at-wall-street-blankfein-v-barack-16″
title=”The Peak of Obama’s Anger At Wall Street: Blankfein V Barack”
content=”When: Obama has claimed that the angriest he has been since taking on the presidency was when Lloyd Blankfein justified massive bonuses with the line: “Goldman was never in danger of collapse.’

What Obama said: Well actually, what Bill Clinton said. He had some advice for his successor: “You could pull Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley and slit his throat… and it would satisfy [people] for two days, and then the blood lust would rise again.”
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