Bank Execs Decide Not to Pay for Another Obama Lecture on ‘Responsibility’

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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Tickets to see President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democratic congressmen at a swanky St. Regis Hotel fund-raiser last night ran from $15,000 for individuals, $30,400 for couples, and even $50,000 if you wanted to schmooze with Obama beforehand. But of the 185 donors who attended, not many executives from big banks were among them. Sure, there was Richard Debs, advisory director of Morgan Stanley, and Maurice Sonnenberg, senior international adviser for JPMorgan. But where were the marquee names? Probably at home (or, realistically, some other exclusive place we will never be allowed into), avoiding another scolding from Obama. They're "tired of being the punching bag for Obama," the Post says. "It's like going to Detroit and attacking the auto industry," an attendee told Politico. Well, they were right. Look at how Obama lashed out at Wall Street last night:


I was in Wall Street just a few weeks ago, and I said I believe in the power of the free market. I believe in a strong financial system. When it's working right, our financial institutions are an enormous source of strength and dynamism in our economy. It helps families buy homes, and businesses grow, and ideas to take flight. There are a lot of good people who work in the financial industry who do things the right way. It's in our best interest to make sure those firms are strong and healthy.

But when these institutions operate irresponsibly, they don't just threaten themselves. As we've seen, they threaten the entire economy, along with the dreams of millions of Americans who worked so hard to make a life for themselves.

So we need reform that would ensure they operate in a honest, fair, open way.

Ugh, are you kidding us? "Honest, fair, and open"? And responsible? It's a good thing most bankers weren't there last night, because they probably would have ruined everything by throwing up all over the place, out of disgust.

President Obama rips, raises cash from Wall St. [Politico]
Wall Street bigs $kip O's glitzy Apple gala [NYP]
Remarks: Obama at DCCC Dinner May 13, 2010 [Page/Time]