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Obama Too Easy or Harsh Toward Wall Street?

Dueling sentiments are tugging at President Obama as he is set to address the nation on CNBC Monday.

One is that he’s been “too nice to Wall Street” and that it benefited from the bailouts, according to a CNBC poll; the other is that he’s anti-business, a consensus discussed on CNBC Monday.

“We don’t want to hear is that the president is going that populist anti-business route: I think the president has learned a lot about the impact of that that can have on the psychology of business,” said Michelle Girard, senior economist at RBS.

“More than anything else, we are waiting for more certainty on the tax question and the opportunity and the possibility of all the tax cuts being extended. If it’s [tax cuts for all] just temporary, I think that would be a big boost to confidence and reducing concerns about where we’re headed.”

Girard added that even “bad news,” such as the Bush tax cuts expiring for the wealthy, it will allow business to move forward—to begin making plans.

Brian Belski, a chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer, said that Wall Street has been an easy target, especially with the problems of corporate malfeasance and others over that last few years.

“That gets people fired up,” he said.

But, he added, one of the last things the business community needs to hear is that taxes will go up, especially now that the economy appears to be picking up, after it “froze” in May and June. He said: “People are now getting jobs.”

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