Most around the world back stimulus

In a huge poll of 22,158 people around the world, the BBC found broad support for government stimulus actions. According to the study, "In the 20 countries polled, 60% backed more spending to boost the economy."

The countries happiest with their government's efforts included China, which scored an 88% approval rating, Australia 68%, Egypt 63%, Brazil 59% and Canada 57%. The figure in the US, however, was only 48%.

The survey also points to a huge disconnect between businesses, particularly those in the financial industry, and average citizens. Banks have made the case that they should not be over-regulated because it would hurt their earnings and take away their capacity to make large sums of money by taking risks. Many people polled in the survey preferred heavy regulation, probably because they blame financial institutions for the recession, and believe that government stimulus intervention may have been the only thing that averted a catastrophe.

If the data is correct, large financial firms may have a great deal of difficulty remaining independent of the burdens of government oversight. Elected officials are likely to take public sentiment to heart to keep themselves in office and legislators are unlikely to take the unpopular position of siding with the "villains" of the financial industry.

If the banking industry thought it could dodge a slew of new rules governing its behavior, it was wrong. The public is sick of them taking large risks to line their own pockets.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.


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