President reaches out to Wall Street execs about fiscal cliff


The Obama Administration is pursuing an interesting strategy when it comes to drumming up support for his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, according to the New York Times.

On the one hand, the President is busy lining up increasingly vocal support from the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. But even as these CEOs shift toward supporting a hike in taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers, "the White House continued to work behind the scenes to woo some of Wall Street's most powerful financiers — a group that had largely abandoned President Obama in his bid for a second term after supporting him in 2008."

A high-profile train of Wall Street executives are making the trip Washington to hear the pitch. The group includes several hedge fund managers, such as Daniel Och, of Och-Ziff Capital Management. White House officials also "sat down with a more than half a dozen top bankers and financiers, including Gary D. Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs, and Greg Fleming, head of wealth management at Morgan Stanley."

Among the most supportive of the president's agenda is Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

"The political symbolism of some of the wealthiest Americans' saying they support higher taxes on the rich takes a bit of the sting out of the idea of raising rates, for both Democrats and Republicans. Indeed, by appealing to both camps and enlisting their support, President Obama hopes to neutralize potential critics, according to allies of the president on Wall Street," the article notes.

This is an interesting alliance that's shaping up. While many on Wall Street opposed the general rhetoric coming from the administration during the election, they fear the consequences that will flow from the cliff and an impassive on the debt ceiling. They would rather swallow their distaste for the president and urge a deal sooner rather than later. Ultimately, they have a lot to lose.

For more:
- here's the article

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