Investors Don't Credit Obama for What's Going Right

President Barrack ObamaRiddle me this Obama haters: If the president is at fault for the economy's problems, shouldn't he get credit for the things are going right? Apparently not.

More than 62% of U.S. investors polled by Bloomberg News had a negative view of President Obama. Surprisingly, 63% of respondents say his policies are "detrimental to the U.S. investment climate." Among U.S. investors, that number increases to 68%. Respondents to the poll of Bloomberg subscribers, who are mostly well-heeled financial-services types, overwhelmingly believe that the Republican victory in the midterm elections will be good for business. That view may be simplistic.

As Bloomberg points out, U.S. corporations could have their biggest earnings growth in 22 years in 2010, and the stock market is headed for its best back-to-back annual gains since 2004. Yes, unemployment remains high, consumer confidence is shaky and the deficit remains as huge as ever, but those market figures are pretty good.

An 8.2% Return So Far on Bailouts

The S&P 500 has gained more than 43% since Obama was inaugurated in January 2009 with the economy facing its worst decline since the Great Depression. And although Republicans, particularly followers of the Tea Party, argued during the midterm campaign that the taxpayer-funded bailouts were a failure, the evidence suggests otherwise.

"The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2% return over two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg," the news service says. "That beat U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts, money- market funds and certificates of deposit. Investing in the stock market or gold would have paid off better."

Not every bailout has been a bonanza for taxpayers, such as the $50 billion GM rescue. According to Reuters, the Treasury Department, which holds a 60.8% stake in GM, may lose up to $4.9 billion on its sale of shares in the IPO. Others argue, though, that taxpayers may break even or profit from it. One rescue that could pay off handsomely is the government's investment in AIG. Taxpayers could see a profit of $26 billion on the AIG bailout if current stock valuations hold, the Washington Post says.

Voters Remain Unconvinced


So, if all these things are going well, what's to hate? According to Bloomberg's subscribers, everything. Some blame the administration's often heavy-handed approach toward business as hurting investor confidence. Among industry's pet peeves are tax policy, such as the estate tax and the Bush tax cuts, the repeal of which, some experts claim, will make the deficit much worse. Obama has also done a dismal job of addressing the housing market and has failed to convince Americans that his plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans wouldn't also hurt the middle class.

Though the Republicans scored an overwhelming victory in the midterm elections, that could be seen as more of a rejection of Obama's economic policy rather than votes of confidence in the GOP. As Tea Party followers have noted, Republicans have been no slouches when it comes to running up the deficit. Still, Obama's message that his policies would work eventually fell on deaf ears.

Interestingly, the poll was released soon after the bipartisan panel appointed by Obama released its draft recommendations for narrowing the nation's yawning budget deficit. Among its suggestions were raising the retirement age, hiking the gasoline tax and reducing Social Security cost-of-living increases. But both Democrats and Republicans have been quick to attack the panel's findings.

Though these problems predate his presidency, they underscore the vexing challenges Obama faces in getting America's fiscal house in order. Unfortunately, voters won't give him much more time to overcome those challenges.

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Robert Sureda

How about a 4 letter word JOBS! Where are they? No one wants to hire where I am at and there are more vacant buildings than ever. All the jobs are going overseas so where is the positive in OBAMA. The stock market goes up big whoop how do we pay our bills and keep up with a mortgage with no jobs. I will not make the same mistake at the polls in 2012.

November 12 2010 at 4:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
johndson

Wow! Look at all the economists in these comments!! Amazing! The theories here are somply incredible!! Our economy is consumer based. 70% or more consumer based. When the housing market,(2005), followed by the mortgage market,(2006)totally collapsed, and people (those would be the consumers) were personally, completely wiped out, and the bogus deregulated securities that contained millions of illegally sold mortgages that were also criminally rated AAA because of more "free market" deregulation the stock market dropped 8000 points (2007-2008) and banks began failing as foreclosures multiplied in numbers never before seen. Until unGodly amounts of taxpayer money was poured into the banks, Wall St. was busy hdiding under their desks, hoping and praying no one would notice that it was THEM who lobbied for the deregulation, THEM who pushed for no down payment mortgages, THEM who wanted no income verification mortgages, THEM who pushed for 125% mortgages, THEM who securitized this worthless junk, and THEM who rated the turds they were selling and making trucloads of money on triple A. The idiotic deregulation craze that took place from 1994-2006 in congress put these greedy idiots in complete control of trillions of dollars. Those REGULATIONS that could have prevented most if not all of what happened ARE STILL NOT IN PLACE. DEREGULATION allowed all of this to collapse around us. Trickle down, "Supply side" economics is a monumental failure! The stock market only began to recover after the banks were solvent again. It took years of tampering with our regulatory system, the gutting of the SEC, and countless mindless acts of congress to ruin our economy and rob millions of Ameircans of their home equity, their life savings, their retirement accounts, and our economy of its consumers. THIS DIDN'T JUST HAPPEN and worse, unless we put some restraints and regualtions back into place, IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN!

November 12 2010 at 3:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
fergie

Obama (can't call him 'President')cannot be credited with improved stock performance because he had nothing to do with them. As a result of the recession corporations reduced staff and inventories thus improving their earnings and bottom line. You can't credit Obama with that. Obama is an arrogant ideologist who feels he knows better than the american people what's good for them. Just look at healthcare.....he was hell bent on pushing thru the changes with the help of Comrade Pelosi.......changes the american did not want. Hopefully he's a one term president.

November 12 2010 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jmckcpa

Obviously Mr. Berr is inadequately schooled in economics and the results that occur when corporations reduce their labor forces (mostly overpaid union workers). This is a classic case of corporate manipulation, having taken the "Big Bath" when the economy was heading south and showing substantial profits in subsequent quarters. The real indicator is housing which is still falling in most regions of the country. If Obama should get credit for anything it is the foreclosure situation that he was instrumantal as a Senator in creating and as a President in prepetuating.

November 12 2010 at 12:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jdrumerrnr

From a Republican, yep that sounds right.

November 11 2010 at 11:29 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
robmerlaw

If he does not get sufficient credit for any good results, it is because they are overpowered by the bad. $3 trillion additional debt in 18 months; no action to stop illegal aliens from taking jobs from Americans; full-benefit health care paid by working Americans for millions of illegal aliens and those who refuse to work; 2 years of unemployment benefits for those that game the system - including people with millions in assets. Obama's "change" is to bankrupt the USA.

November 11 2010 at 4:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
luvtopleaze

What idiot calculates a return on investment by only counting the profitable investments and ignoring the loosing investments ?

November 11 2010 at 3:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
us2n82

WHo cares that these companies SAVED their way and SLASHED employees to these earnigs.....It's a onr time gain! Lets see them set the same earings records next year....Oh yea, now that the Republicans are in Congress, the Libs will balme the poor performance on them.....

November 11 2010 at 3:10 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
johnskii

BUSH DID IT!!! ;-)

November 11 2010 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply