Tag Archives: Slate

The real reason wall street hates president obama

It’s no news to anyone that Wall Street and its big banks hate Barack Obama and his administration. A new article in Slate, though, proposes a fairly explicit reason of why that is.

First, though, they go over the reasons why they shouldn’t hate him:

  1. He helped bail them all out
  2. He made sure congress didn’t go after their salaries
  3. He rejected proposals to break up the biggest banks

All of this, of course, was not because he gave a shit about any of them, but because they were critical steps in reviving the economy. So here are the reasons why they do hate him:

  1. He pushed forward bank regulation policies (The Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill)
  2. They think he’s a socialist who encourages the redistribution of wealth
  3. He doesn’t respect them

Despite all this, though, according to Annie Lowrey, the true reason why Wall Street hates the president is because, like many others who blame the president, they just aren’t doing very well.

Data on New York’s financial industry suggests that profits have dropped more than 10% in the first half of 2011, and are scheduled to drop even further. Bank of America is shedding 30,000 jobs, Goldman Sachs another 1,000, and the securities industry could lose another 10,000.

These are pretty timely statistics for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and pretty inconvenient for an already frustrated (regulated) banking industry. In other words, big bank CEOs are pissed off, and the 1% are the only ones on their side. As is necessary, the President is on the other side, and this makes him easier to vilify.

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Theory: The ‘Obama Effect’ on crime

A new article in Slate introduced a theory on why a crime drop in the U.S. in the years since the start of the recession contradicts the conventional wisdom. They (cautiously) suggest that the decrease may be the product of new confidence among black Americans in low socioeconomic conditions, since Barack Obama became president in ’08.

Studies by the American Society of Criminology have shown that, despite the worst recession since the Great Depression, Black Americans are more confident about their economic futures than they were five years ago. The same people also showed a positive increase in their thoughts on the standard of living gap between black and white people, and their future standard of living.

I’ve seen hints of this change first hand, even in Canada, and I think it adds a lot of credibility to the importance of his presidency (something that most of us have forgotten by now).

What’s being said here has little do with Black Americans, it reiterates the philosophy that, “The rate of violence among unrelated adults is determined by the feelings people have toward their society and their government and the degree to which they trust their elected officials.”

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AI: The Ugly Side of Increased Efficiency in Today’s Economy

A new series of articles on Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2304442/) discusses the probability and results of artificial intelligence in a North American workforce.

Farhood Manjo looks at how “middle skilled” jobs (secretarial, administrative, etc.) will become obsolete sooner than we know, as AI becomes more sophisticated in collecting and categorizing data.

Jobs that require less skill will eventually face the same modernization, but at this point it’s relatively inexpensive to pay those employees.

The “high skilled” jobs requiring extensive education and specialization don’t seem to be safe from this inevitable process, either, but it’s only those that make their money performing fairly routine tasks that have cause for concern. What employer isn’t looking for workers who don’t complain, require no breaks or vacation time, and are quick and efficient at what they do?

The next thing to consider is whether such a rapid increase in efficiency will be positive for economic growth, according to the conventional wisdom, or cause an overall decline. The answer may not be what it seems.


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