No-Show Bankers Show Who's on Top

With bailout funds repaid, Wall Street snubs the president
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2009 7:28 AM CST
No-Show Bankers Show Who's on Top
President Barack Obama meets with members of the financial industry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 14, 2009, to discuss the economic recovery.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Obama’s meeting with top bankers yesterday spoke volumes about the new power dynamic between Washington and Wall Street—and not in the White House’s favor. Three top bankers, Lloyd Blankfein, John Mack and Richard Parsons, called in rather than showing their faces. Their excuse was weather that had delayed their—irony alert—commercial flights, but if they really cared, they’d have found a way to show up, says Andrew Sorkin of the New York Times.

The point, of course, is that they don’t really care. They’ve repaid the TARP, meaning the government isn’t a shareholder anymore. The attendees said the right things, but Obama dourly noted that their words didn’t match their lobbyists’ actions. “The White House has been left in the position of extending invitations, rather than exercising its clout,” writes Sorkin. “And in the figurative and literal sense, it is being stood up.” (More Wall Street stories.)

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