Friday, January 22, 2010
In the category of things that ought to go without saying:
U.S. investors overwhelmingly see President Barack Obama as anti-business and question his ability to manage a financial crisis, according to a Bloomberg survey.
The global quarterly poll of investors and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers finds that 77 percent of U.S. respondents believe Obama is too anti-business and four-out-of-five are only somewhat confident or not confident of his ability to handle a financial emergency.
Me, I'm wondering what the other 23% of investors are smoking.
Barack Obama has done what he needs to do to keep the economic system from collapsing, but that has not prevented 77% of us from noticing that he has also loudly called for regulations calculated to lower the rate of return on investment in health care companies (17% of GDP), energy (10% of GDP), and financial services (8% of GDP). Then, he openly and notoriously favored unionized employees over investors in his takeover of Chrysler and General Motors. (He may have legitimate reasons for all of these choices and I might even agree with a few of them, but the consequences are beyond contest.)
President Obama has been clear at every point that corporate profits are "too high" for his taste in sector after sector, so one would have to be deafer, dumber, and blinder than the Pinball Wizard not to believe that he is anti-business within any usual understanding of the term.
"Barack Obama has done what he needs to do to keep the economic system from collapsing"
What exactly was that? TARP worked mostly as expected, but Obama didn't initiate it -- he just perverted it to pay off the UAW. So now we're supposed to be mad that banks are making money. Bernanke's gymnastics would have happened whoever was in office. To those who were paying attention, Stimulus and the detail of the auto bailouts sent a strong early message to the private sector about Obama & Co's intentions. Government spending is the core problem. Obama & Co want to make it much worse. Fear of this has frozen the private sector, which is why unemployment is high even though we're running an enormous and unsustainable deficit. Enough Americans have now figured this out that people like Scott Brown can -- and will -- get elected.
After his upcoming State of the Union address, Obama's presidency will effectively be over. Even Chris Matthews will wake up with a raging headache and coyote syndrome.
Bloomberg has just released poll results indicating that the Pope is thought by 77% of responders to be Catholic.
Those polled also indicated that they "strongly believed" that wild bears defecate in the woods.