Dennis Kneale, CNBC Media & Technology Editor:
In so doing, the President has shed his usual, becalmed visage of judicious intelligence and what-me-worry confidence. In its place is an unpleasant portrait of a sulking, vengeful politician lashing out at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and their brethren on Wall Street–the only target that, his polls say, might resonate with the voters who are forsaking him.
The Obama folks “don’t accept that banks perform a necessary function in the system: to get the economy going again,” says one senior executive at a Wall Street giant. “This business has a social benefit, and it’s how we make money. The two are not exclusive.”
Yet the White House is deaf to complaints that burdensome new rules would hurt bank profits and hamper the recovery. “When you tell them that reduces our profits, they just don’t care,” this exec complains.
That’s the big problem: All of us, especially the Obama Posse, should care a lot about profits at the banks. Healthy banks provide the fuel for a healthy economy. They line up hundreds of billions of dollars a year in syndicated loans for businesses and directly loan out hundreds of billions more.
Obama’s new proposal to ban banks from trading for their own accounts cracks down on a practice that contributed, in no way whatsoever, to the housing bubble and the tumultuous tumble that followed. A recent Goldman Sachs report shows that, simply put, faulty and loose bank lending practices caused 98 percent of all losses, not the banks’ proprietary trading.
Emphasis in bold added by yours truly. This is class warfare on the part of the Obama administration, plain and simple.