James Pethokoukis

A Wall Street conspiracy to kill Social Security?

March 26, 2010

Finally, a Wall Street conspiracy theory without Goldman Sachs at its heart. This one posits that bond rater Moody’s wants to ding the U.S. credit rating so panicky politicos will privatize Social Security. That would sent big bucks to the firm’s big bank clients. If only it were true.

Yup, America hates Big Anything

March 25, 2010

A new poll shows Americans hate Wall Street. Of course, bankers are never popular. But maybe never less so than right now. Yet polls also show Americans cynical about Big Anything — Big Money, Big Business, Big Government. As Sen. John McCain likes to say, the approval ratings of Congress are so low, its only supporters must be paid staffers and blood relatives.

The Dodd Effect: 2010 starts great for Wall Street

January 7, 2010

Washington just got a little more welcome for Wall Street. The retirement of Christopher Dodd, the Democrat from Connecticut, probably hands the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee to a friend of the industry in 2011. It also improves the odds of a weaker version of financial reform passing Congress in 2010 — if anything passes at all.

Obama vs. Wall Street

December 15, 2009

As usual, Ed Yardeni is exactly on point:

1) While Washington wants them to lend more, the bank examiners sent by Washington’s regulators are all over them to improve their credit quality and to tighten their lending standards.

Obama vs. Wall Street

December 14, 2009

A few thoughts on the banker summit at the White House:

1) Some banks were already trying to boost small business lending, such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

The risk of a supertax on banker bonuses

December 11, 2009

U.S.-based bankers shouldn’t worry too much about their bonuses. Even though Wall Street remains wildly unpopular and Washington needs more revenue, it’s unlikely U.S. authorities will follow their UK counterparts with a giant windfall tax on banker payouts.

Why bankers should worry in 2010

December 10, 2009

Already, the crazy ideas are returning, such as mortgage cramdowns. But more could be on the way in 2010, says the great Dan Clifton of Strategas (bank bonus tax, American version?):