Gasparino: No woodshed for the fat cats, just a lovefest

Max Keiser and Yves Smith pointed me to an article by frequent CNBC contributor Charlie Gasparino on Obama’s fat cats meeting. I love Yves’ feigned surprise.

Here are a few excerpts from Gasparino followed by a link to the full article. Definitely read the whole thing.

In public, President Obama is on a tear against Wall Street. In private, not so much

Over the weekend, Obama attacked fat-cat investment bankers, telling "60 Minutes" he didn’t become president to aid and abet Wall Street — which, only a year after the financial meltdown and taxpayer bailout, is now scheduled to hand out tens of billions of dollars in bonuses to its bankers and traders.

But the president’s meeting yesterday with the CEOs of the largest banks was nearly a lovefest, I’m told by attendees.

You know this isn’t a puff piece when it starts off this way. A lovefest?  Kind of like this, I imagine. It only gets worse.

Said one CEO who attended: "I expected to be taken to the woodshed, but the tone was quite the opposite."

Said another senior exec with knowledge of the meeting: "The whole thing was so telegraphed that not much was accomplished, other than giving Obama a PR stunt . . . He might have sounded mean on ’60 Minutes,’ but during the meeting he was a hell of a lot nicer."

That’s downright ugly and I guarantee you it will get worse.

the banks just aren’t focused on lending — because it’s so easy to make money by trading: Borrow cheaply at the low, government-backed rates, and put that cash in higher-yielding bonds.

On Wall Street, it’s known as the "carry trade" — and the taxpayers are financing the vast profits from it, through all the ways listed above.

There are many reasons to hate Wall Street, even if you haven’t heard Goldman’s Blankfein quip that he’s doing "God’s work" when he trades bonds and earns all that bonus money.

But the ultimate culprit for the fact that these guys are raking it in while the rest of the nation suffers isn’t Blankfein or the Wall Streeters at yesterday’s meeting — it’s their enablers in government, including the man in the White House.

Isn’t this exactly what I said five months ago?


The two faces of O – Charlie Gasparino, NY Post


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.