President Obama is trying to harness public rage against Wall Street while bankers are whining about new financial regulations—but the inconvenient truth for both sides is that Wall Street has profited big-time during Obama's presidency. In fact banks are larger today than when Obama won the White House, and Wall Street firms have made more dough during Obama's years than during the whole Bush administration, the Washington Post reports.
Why? The Post breaks it down:
- The feds rolled hundreds of billions of dollars into banks—mostly under Bush—without requiring them to increase lending to consumers or businesses. Instead, banks used the money to invest in high-risk securities, and made a killing on short-term price movements.
- The increase in unemployment insurance benefited banks, who gave debit cards to the unemployed and profited from a range of fees.
- Devastated by the recession, states have enrolled new workers into private retirement accounts instead of government pensions. Wall Street benefits from this by charging bigger fees for investing the money of each retiree instead of handling one overall retirement fund.
to see more reasons why Wall Street is riding high while millions of Americans are struggling. (Read more Wall Street