Socionomics Watch—Finance is the Enemy

The Public's New Fear of Finance
Too many of the leaders of the world's largest banks, brokerage houses and other financial powerhouses don't get it.

They don't understand why the public is so angry at them and their paychecks. They cannot comprehend why elected politicians who used to court them are now so hostile. They don't see that they are widely seen as the ones who drove the world economy frighteningly close to the abyss of a second Great Depression.

Oh, they know they have a problem. They are, slowly, learning to sound grateful in public that taxpayer money was used, for good reason, to arrest the collapse of the financial system. "All banks are benefiting," says Robert Diamond, president of Barclays PLC, which didn't take government capital. They decry "excesses." But some act as if the past 18 months were a bad dream from which they have awakened; now they can go back to making money much as they did before.

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