Obama Bigwigs Take Aim at Wall Street

Says execs can't have their bailouts, and their bonuses, too
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 12:18 PM CDT
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel listens while President Obama speaks, Wednesday, April 29, 2009. Senior advisers Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and spokesman Robert Gibbs are behind him.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Wall Street is getting ready to hand out some hefty bonuses, and the Obama administration is already crashing the party, with top aides loudly dressing down execs, framing them as would-be fat cats who only last year were on the public dole. "The bonuses are offensive," says David Axelrod, while Rahm Emanuel gripes that Wall Street only has "a level of normalcy because of what the government did to help them."

Another bone of contention, as the White House sees it, is the financial industry's stone-walling of reform aimed at preventing another crisis—and another bailout. "A year ago a lot of these institutions were teetering on the brink, and the United States government and taxpayers came to their defense," Axelrod says.