America Hates Wall Street

How much antipathy does America have against Wall Street?

New York Stock Exchange
Oliver Quillia for
New York Stock Exchange

If political advertisements are a good gauge of political sentiment, the hate for Wall Street knows no limit.

"More than 200 candidates around the country have run ads demonizing the financial industry or Wall Street, often trying to tie an opponent to a culture of greed and government bailouts," the New York Times explains.

Two ads have sprung up that are movie-trailer parodies of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” They are being run against two Republicans who used to work on Wall Street: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is running for Senate, and John R. Kasich of Ohio, who is running for governor.

The anti-Toomey spot, called “Wall Street Toomey,” even includes an audio clip of the character Gordon Gekko’s famous line about greed.

Any connection to the city seems fair game: Even in upstate New York, Representative Bill Owens, a Democrat, has criticized his Republican challenger, Matt Doheny, a former managing director for Deutsche Bank, as a New York banker who cannot be trusted.

Mr. Owens’s ad opens with an arrow pointing to a photograph of “Matt Doheny’s Apartment” on East 34th Street, then zooms in on an old address label, as “New York, NY” is highlighted in yellow marker. The ad criticizes the layoffs and executive bonuses that resulted, Mr. Owens charges, from Mr. Doheny’s restructuring of Adelphia Communications, before ending with the images of the Merrill Lynch bull and, once again, his apartment building.

“That’s the way they do it,” the narrator sneers, “on Wall Street.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon and Larry Fink are reportedly encouraging Mike Bloomberg to run for President. That sounds smart.

Companies mentioned in this post

Deutsche Bank

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