As you may have heard, the Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte this week. As you may have also heard, some people who figuratively work on Wall Street have had their feelings hurt over the last several years by President Obama, who they believe could have chosen his words more carefully when speaking about the industry. Bankers, traders, hedge fund managers, and pissant first-year analysts have emotions too, y’know, and calling them things like “fat cats” really stings, almost as much as the things you don’t say, like “S-U-P-E-R, That’s what Wall Street bankers are” every time someone wins a deal, or just shaking general pom-poms of encouragement in the lobby as people arrive every morning.
So you can imagine that those working in close proximity to the convention were particularly nervous for what brand of emotional torture the administration had in store for them, and came into the week with their guards on high alert.
Bankers in Charlotte, North Carolina, had prepared for the worst, bracing themselves for attacks from the Democratic Party’s convention stage and fencing in the entrances to guard their high-rise office towers against protests. What they got was mostly muted complaints from the Time Warner Cable (TWC) Arena’s podium and sparsely attended weekend demonstrations. In fact, perhaps the biggest news for Wall Street this week came when former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin stepped backward into the Ritz-Carlton Hotel pool during a convention party attended by industry insiders.
The relatively light verbal assault relieved the financial sector’s allies, who have spent much of the past four years attempting to breach the divide between the Obama administration and financial titans. When the president mentioned it in his speech last night, he limited his criticism to one line: “we don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules.” President Bill Clinton didn’t utter the words “Wall Street” in his 48-minute address this week, instead focusing more broadly on the policies that led to the economic downturn. The industry also got a pass in the keynote speech by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and it merited not so much as a whisper in First Lady Michelle Obama’s remarks. “There’s not been a great deal of criticism,” said Tony Podesta, a Washington lobbyist who represents financial firms. “People were really offended by it, and so I think it’s reasonable to change the tone and talk about policy.”
Unless this is just a trap; an attempt to lure Wall Street into trusting him before pulling the same shit all over again, i.e. not ONCE thinking to pick up the phone when he knew you were working late to say “Honey, you’re doing a great job” or just calling to say “I love you.” Maybe at least analyze the situation with your girlfriends tonight before deciding whether or not to give him a second chance. With your heart.