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BLITZER'S BLOG: If Obama is anti-big business, why has Wall Street done so well?
December 14th, 2011
04:33 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: If Obama is anti-big business, why has Wall Street done so well?

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - I know that lots of critics accuse President Obama of being anti-big business. Some go so far as to suggest he’s borderline socialist.

The criticism stems from some of his own rhetoric against Wall Street, which occasionally has been over the top – as many of his own big-business Democratic fund-raisers acknowledge.

The critics also point to his desire for more intense oversight and regulation of the big banks and brokerage and investment firms.

Finally, they charge he engages in “class warfare” by insisting that “millionaires and billionaires” should see their tax rates go up. That, the critics say, will merely undermine the “job creators” and weaken the overall economy. They don’t like his efforts to promote greater “wealth distribution.”

I fully understand all the criticism. But here’s my question: If President Obama’s policies have been so anti-big business, why has Wall Street done so well since he took office?

On January 20, 2009, when he was sworn in, the Dow Jones closed at 7,949. Now, it hovers around 12,000. That’s a pretty impressive increase.

In the past year, the value of the U.S. dollar has gone up as well, although the euro crisis has certainly played a significant role in that.

Finally, so many major American corporations are raking in record profits and sitting on trillions of dollars.

In short, big business is doing well even though the overall economy is still sluggish and unemployment is still way too high.

And those latter factors are key to his re-election prospects – not the state of big business.

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Filed under: President Obama • Wall Street • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (435 Responses)
  1. Dan (6th district of MN)

    Most companies have figured out that it's cheaper to lay-off, and redistribute the workload to remaining employees, than to keep everyone on board. Profits go up, so stock prices go up; it's win-win situation for corporate America.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  2. Davi

    I couldn't agree more, Wolf. I just wish that Mr. Obama was better at bragging about all the improvements he's made in this country, despite a poor global outlook.

    December 15, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  3. Greg

    Oboma is anti middle class, Pro China and Pro OPEC. That's why gas prices are still high and all of the jobs are going to China. The cost of energy is killing the fly over states and he continues to destroy the US energy infrastructure. It amazes me that true Democrats vote for this guy when all he has accomplished is putting more people on welfare.

    December 15, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  4. JW

    The value of the dollar went up!?! Maybe in comparison to other countries tender but not in the US. Just look at the price of almost any common good. For example, a 75 cent 20 ounce soda is now a $1.50 and that happen in 4 years. I seriously doubt the quality of a soda grew in any way what so ever. So, unless there is some kind global soda crisis I don't know about, the overall value of a dollar has almost dropped by 50%. If the dollar had actually increased in value I could buy more crap.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  5. idb

    Wall street does so well because it has bought of congress.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  6. broomy

    Obama is a wolf in sheeps clothing. He says one thing ,does another.Typical politician. They are all liars and cheats. Follow the money. Obamas' biggest contributers is big busines,and the looters on Wallstreet. The new world order has emerged. The ultra-wealthy are winning big time right now. Nothing short of a revolution by the working class will stop them now. We're all in this rat race chasing the crumbs the big rats are throwing our way. Wake-up people, don't go to work tomorrow, etc..When there are no slaves to clean up after them, the game is over. Quit making the rich, richer.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:11 am |
  7. Wylie-Mike

    Wolf, don't you realize that Wall Street is not Private Sector Business.
    Wall Street is the Vegas that lays odds on Businesses.
    Obama is doing quite well in getting funding from his bookies on Wall Street.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:54 am |
  8. m

    It hasn't been doing so well this past week.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  9. mmac

    The only thing obama has done for business was give bp oil a safety award.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  10. mmac

    Mr blitzer, let me educate you. The only thing obama has done for big business is give bp oil a safety award. YOU HAVE NOW BEEN EDUCATED.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  11. mmac

    Mr blitzer, let me educate you. If obama is good for business, why does he threatens to shut down the govt over the pipeline bill, that was passed by republicans, that will hire thousands of americans to work it? YOU HAVE NOW BEEN EDUCATED.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  12. mmac

    Mr blitzer, let me educate you. In the movie WALL STREET, gordon gecko was good for wall street. But bad for business and main street. Yep obama is good for wall street. I hope you dont think obama is a good person for that. Because obama is a disaster.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  13. mmac

    Obama is great for wall street. He's bad for main street. He's terrible for business. Mr blitzer, let me educate you. Would you call the obama administration good for business, if his administration blocks boeing from building a plant and hiring thousands of people to work in south carolina. YOU CALL THAT PRO BUSINESS? YOU HAVE NOW BEEN EDUCATED.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  14. AlaskaPalin

    George bushs obama extended tax cut. Can obama say to OWS; whom he is cheer leading; that the out working of his economic policies favor their 'so called' 1%. If he is publicly cheer leading ows then the fact that the market; whom they hate; is doing so well must be put down to the strength of the capitalist system and the brilliance of the capitalists in this country.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  15. RudyG

    if we had a president who is business friendly we would have seen unemployment drop dramatically by now. I'm convinced of it. Big business is not hiring!! It has shed all possible inefficiencies, and it is waiting on the sidelines for a more friendly environment in Washington. The president has demonized bug business; you can't do that and expect it to trust you!

    December 15, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  16. 2cause

    CNN…. Is putting on the moderation. I disagree with many but I’m never abusive just freely voicing my opinion too. Not fair.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  17. ER docS

    Wolff like always lots of lip service and no objective reporting. Being a reporter rather than a bias cheerleader will get you into the white house for close interviews but not in the heart of America. you are self serving how low can we go.,that the reason for wall street doing well is created at the price of unemployment. If you could grasp the principle maybe you would could have the respect of your peers. Employers won't hire cause of uncertainty that Obama may destroy future investments by creating uncertainty in the market and enforce employment with poor returns. The market sees right through his intentions. We won't invest unless he leaves office, an assure returns on investment, call risk which aim not willing to take. I am an American and I believe in the American dream. Obama will not steal them.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  18. electroguy

    Businessess are doing well because 95% of their workers are OUTSIDE the U.S.
    Maybe you missed the part where practically everyone got outsourced...

    December 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  19. Terry

    Attention Wolf: You need to interview Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama's highly touted Jobs Council. Immelt is the CEO of General Electric, and is moving GE infrastructure to China. Get that interview and you will win an Emmy.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  20. Caleb

    I am shocked how CNN has tried (so terribly) to pump up Obama in their recent articles. This is one of many (just today) that in my eyes are designed for the average Americans to think after reading it "you know what? I think I like Obama and I guess he hasn't been that bad!" CNNs job should be in the business of reporting the news, not helping Americans firm opinions on different matters. I am a news junky and I am disappointed in CNNs ongoing merge into shaping America how they think would be best.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  21. Alan Lindsay

    Obama is not anti-business, business is anti-Obama.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  22. DS

    Wolf – It appears that you have finally woken up to the reality. Hopefully going forward you will not rehash the Republican proganda machine by saying that economy is in a bad shape. Under Obama, we have done great on every front – Wall STreet, Corporate, Employment, Homeland Security, Al-Queda capture/elimination, tax reductions, healthcare reform, support for the scientific community, education reform. President Obama has been able to achieve so much more than most Presidents have been able to do over a two term period.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  23. Robert

    lol, Wake up people, Large corporations and big business will continue to be successful because they run the government regardless of who gets elected into office. We vote and it makes NOOO difference. The number of poor keep growing, middle class has all but disappeared, and the rich, thats right, they keep getting richer. Are you all so blind to see that WE are america's and the corporate umbrella's biggest commodity. Everything from Foods, schooling, medical and drug companies, oil & gas, the credit and banking systems, etc... They have made us reliant, weak, poisoned, poor and in debt, ignorant, and so drugged up and powerless that we feed the system, baiscally the gas that gets burned up to make the car (system) go, and we are not driving are along for the ride. We work not to live, but survive and barely, if we are lucky. Yet when someone challenges this with truth, an idea, etc..that threatens the system it or they or thier idea disappears. If you want things to change for the better, Take big business out of the government equation. As long as it stays in control, we and our childrens children will be nothing but cattle headed to the slaughtering house. Enjoy the short lived ride.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  24. CJ

    Wolf are you kidding me? Who do you think your addressing here?
    The market or as you call it "Wall Street" is being propped up with printed cash that is, as we speak , deluting this country all in the name of articles like this. Are you really that naive?

    Let me remind you of a few things that show how ignorant your reporting is. Quantitative easing ring a bell?
    QE1, QE2 and an attempt at QE3! Which was smartly and properly shot down in Congress. However they are still pumping cash into the market to prop it up. Look at the saw tooth graph.
    Lastly Wolf, something you should be reporting on instead of spewing this nonsense is why can't the Federal Reserve be audited? Let's do an article on that. That is the source of all of our country's woes but we can't look at the books. Why?
    Do an article on that Wolf. You won't though because it doesn't suit your agenda. What happened to the real jounalists?

    December 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  25. Joe citizen abroad

    Good question. So why are so many Americans still out of work or underemployed?

    December 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  26. Kim in MPLS

    Thanks Wolf for the acknowledgement that his tenure hasn't been a total waste as some would want us to believe.

    One man can't lift every one when there is another whole branch of govt trying to suppress his efforts.
    The President was voted in because of his vision. He hasn't done what I wanted however he has others blocking his every move. I beleve 2010 was about balance and NOT a mandate for the Republicans, let's see if the 2008 backlash role aroung again!

    December 14, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  27. Tom

    Wall Street is not doing well–Consider

    1) Total employment by "Wall street" is down over 15% during 2008-2011
    2) More layoffs are planned (over 30,000 by Bank of America alone)
    3) Initial public offerings for new businesses is almost non-existent–no one wants to invest when Federal capital gains are planned by Obama to go from 15% to 41%–why should they?
    4) Companies are liquidating (this means laying off, shutting down and starting up again in more favorable business locations)–The companies that create shareholder value this way are going up in price–but by no means are they doing well

    Obama's policies are a disaster for working Americans

    December 14, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  28. daveindenver

    Easy question, Wall street donated more this this president than any other president in history. He has caved to big business, it is the vast majority of businesses (the small and medium sized businesses) that he has completely killed. It is almost impossible to start a new business with all the regulations and the difficulty in getting credit.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  29. Corwin7

    Roadwarrior...stick to fighting it out in the wasteland instead of stating pseodofacts so warped and inaccurate that even Glen Beck and Faux news wouldn't publish them. Our national debt hasn't been "in the billions" since before WWII and was in fact 12 TRILLION dollars.When Obama took office the unemployment rate was nothing like 5%. In fact it was hemmoraging jobs at a rate of 750,000 per month. Good is better to be believed an idiot than to listen to Rush Limbaugh and confirm it as fact. Sharky...CEO's have been outsourcing jobs for the last 30 years and it has NOTHING to do with Obama being "anti-business" but the cheap foreign labor and total lack of anything remotely resembling loyalty to the country they that gave them the opportunity to become wealthy CEO's. They are refusing to do anything that might keep them from reinstating thier BOUGHT AND PAID FOR FLUNKIES...i.e. GOP so they can continue raping and pillaging the country. And judging from the way you lackys continue to fawn over (and bend over) for them it's sadly not that far off.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  30. jerry

    wall street has done well? We have not yet fully recovered from the 2008 crash. If it has dome so well then why is the price of gold so high? Another mindless CNN post...people need to think for themselves..just look at your401K balance... This media wants obama soooo bad to get another four years...

    December 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  31. Lanai

    All you Obama haters are drinking the Koolaid of Fox news and its surrogates. When Obama used TARP to save us from a Depression, they called it "socialist." When he killed Osama, they said it was the work of George W. When he is the first president to treat the Palestinians and Israelis even-handedly, they say he's anti Israel. When he wants to cut payroll taxes, they say it won't work. When he passed almost the exact healthcare legislation that the Republicans suggested in the mid-90's, they call it Obamacare. It's time to wake up to all the right wing propaganda.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  32. Tekbit

    It is a sad state of affairs when an Intelligent man cannot compete for the Masthead of the Corporate Ship called America. Perhaps it's the Scurvy from all the lack of Fruition that continues to happen on this current Voyage.
    The only balance in Washington is what side of the Justice Scales you happen to be on.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
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