Last Friday, Third Point founder Dan Loeb released his latest quarterly letter, in which the Third Point founder redirects the feelings he once had for Ken Griffin on the current administration. Paul Krugman read it and he's pretty sure he knows why Loeb and, for that matter, all the other financial services employees who donated to Obama's presidential run have lately been switching teams. Sayeth the Professor:
...they went for Obama because he seemed like their kind of guy, then turned on him with a vengeance because they think he’s looking at them funny. Based on what I know, that’s about right. I talked to some financial-industry backers of Obama back during primary season; they really didn’t know or care much about policy issues, but were in love with Obama over his style — and also over the prospect of being in his inner circle, something they knew wouldn’t happen with Hillary. Now they’re mad because they don’t feel that they’re getting enough stroking.
And you have to bear in mind that this comes after Obama has made immense efforts to placate the financial industry. There were no bank nationalizations; there were hardly any strings attached to bailouts; the financial reform bill was by no means draconian given the scale of the disaster. But Wall Street is furious that Obama might even hint that they caused the crisis — which he does, now and then, because, well, they did.
And as far as I can tell, hardly any of the new anti-Obamanites is thinking at all about what will really happen once John Boehner is speaker. You know, one might have thought that having all the money in the world would make people less petty, less concerned about whether they feel that they’re in the in-group. But nooooo [/Belushi]
We contacted Dan to see if he wanted to confirm or deny whether or not his letter was a result of a lack of "stroking." Reaching him on the beach in Montauk, he told us he had no comment on Krugman's theory but did offer that today was one of his "best surf days of the summer," in case anyone's able to cut out early today.
Earlier From Paul Krugman: Suck It, BusinessWeek (Paulson, Anyone Who Ever Doubted This BSA*)