Obama : Execs 'Tone Deaf' to Economic Dirge

President-elect urges Wall St. bosses to step up, forgo bonuses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2008 2:42 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama walks out to introduce members of his economic team during a news conference in Chicago yesterday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Auto executives taking private jets to bailout talks is a symptom of a much larger problem, President-elect Barack Obama said in an interview today on ABC's Good Morning America. The "tone deaf" move revealed that industry leaders—and highly paid CEOs in general—are out of touch with the toll the economy is taking on Americans, and what they should be doing to help out.

"When people are pulling down hundred-million-dollar bonuses, and taking enormous risks with other people's money, that indicates a sense that you don't have any perspective on what's happening to ordinary Americans," he said. The nation's corporate and political leaders should take more responsibility for what's happening, and bank bosses should forgo bonuses, Obama suggested. "I want all of us to start thinking about what's good for our children, what's good for our country,"  he said.