Wall Street upset at its "pariah" status

Sharpen up your pitchforks: A new lobbying campaign aims to combat "populist overreaction"

By Andrew Leonard
June 25, 2009 7:31PM (UTC)
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Bloomberg News has managed to get its hands on some memos detailing a lobbying push by Wall Street security firms against "populist overreaction."

Robert Schmidt writes that "the memos provide a glimpse, in often candid language, into how Wall Street is grappling with its pariah status."

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"It is imperative that in this historic period of reform, the industry be recognized as playing a positive role in seeking change and providing solutions to the problems we face," one of the documents said. "There is currently widespread skepticism about the industry's commitment to this needed change."

The great thing about that quote is not how it makes me want to find my pitchfork, but how it perfectly encapsulates exactly why there is "widespread skepticism" raging across the land. Everyone knows exactly what "playing a positive role in seeking change and providing solutions to the problems we face" really means: doing everything we can to weaken proposed regulation of the securities industry and ensure that we can get can back to business as usual as soon as possible.

Populist overreaction? $14 trillion of American wealth has vanished in the last 18 months, and we're being accused of overreacting? We have not yet even begun to overreact!


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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