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Wall Street Bankers Put Obama on Hold

Wall Street Bankers Put Obama on Hold, in a Hint of Who’s Boss

NY Times
December 15, 2009

President Obama didn’t exactly look thrilled as he stared at the Polycom speakerphone in front of him. “Well, I appreciate you guys calling in,” he began the meeting at the White House with Wall Street’s top brass on Monday.

He was, of course, referring to the three conspicuously absent attendees who were being piped in by telephone: Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; John J. Mack, chairman of Morgan Stanley; and Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Citigroup.

Their excuse? “Inclement weather,” according to the White House. More precisely, fog delayed flights into Reagan National Airport. (In the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the absent bankers were at least self-aware enough to try to fly commercial.)

That awkward moment on speakerphone in the White House, for better or worse, spoke volumes about how the balance of power between Wall Street and Washington has shifted again, back in Wall Street’s favor.

 

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