In a recent long-form article on the troubles that the banking and investment sectors have had with the destructive policies coming out of the White House, unnamed Democrats told Politico that Rahm Emanuel and, most especially, Valerie Jarrett were not only entirely unresponsive to their concerns, but they actually lacked any knowledge about the industries for which they were tasked with crafting policy–and earned no “respect” because of it.
Things got so bad that representatives of the financial sectors just stopped having meetings with the White House because any such meetings were pointless.
The December 11 article, “Lament of the Plutocrats,” is based upon a dozen quotes from financial sector insiders and corporate executives, all of whom wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by Obama’s hostile White House. The prevailing opinion is that Obama is hostile to Wall Street and the banking/financial sector and has staffed his policy-making departments with people who have no knowledge upon which to base policy decisions.
One business executive told Politico that he knew what was coming as early as 2009 when he was standing in Rahm Emanuel’s office in the White House.
“I knew right at that moment, standing in Rahm’s office, that they did not really have any interest in understanding Wall Street or working with us in any significant way,” the executive said.
But Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, received the harshest criticism.
Politico writers Ben White and Maggie Haberman note that early in his presidency, Obama chose Jarrett to be his liaison with corporate America, even though she had no knowledge or experience to help her understand the concerns of those with whom she was dealing. Worse, these financial leaders found that all she was interested in was “pushing the administration’s agenda, rather than engaging in any kind of dialogue about how to foster better economic growth in the wake of the financial crisis.”
Politico goes on to say:
“Valerie immediately designated herself as business liaison in the White House, and there is no one I know who respects her as a businessperson or thinks she knows anything about business,” said one prominent Democrat on Wall Street who is otherwise very sympathetic to the Obama administration. “You would have these meetings with her, and then absolutely nothing would happen. So people just stopped having them.”
Naturally, Jarrett and other White House officials reject this characterization, claiming it is just sour grapes from a financial sector that needed reigning in by Obama and his anti-business policies.
However, one might give these unnamed financial sector leaders a bit of credence when noting that the economy has struggled since the day Obama took office and none of his policies have brought relief.
Still, whoever you side with, the business and financial sector or the anti-business White House, it is clear that the Obama administration has shown little interest in working with the business sector. The Obama White House wants no input–just obedience.