Big Business Critical of President Obama

Posted by: Nanette Byrnes on August 04

In a survey out today, 231 large companies and financial institutions give poor marks to the President’s performance so far. They generally think his $787 billion economic stimulus package isn’t working and three quarters of the group oppose a second round of similar intervention.

It’s interesting reading in light of the President’s spirited defense of his businesses policies in this week’s BusinessWeek cover story.

Almost half of those surveyed by Greenwich Associates, a consulting firm, gave Obama’s handling of the crisis negative ratings, including more than 25% who call his performance “very poor.” 22% were neutral, so only about 30% like what he’s been doing.

Of all the government’s moves to stem the crisis, this group gives the auto industry bail-out the lowest marks, and are nearly as down on the Administration’s health care proposal. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they thought health care reform as currently structured would be ineffective.

Though they would support the creation of a single, more powerful bank regulator, only 30% of these companies are in favor of another idea being floated: the creation of a consumer protection agency that would oversee mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial accounts.

By contrast to his boss, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is popular with this crowd. 65% give him good marks and 20% call his performance “excellent.”

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is somewhere in the middle. He doesn’t have as many fans in big business as Bernanke, but as the political pollsters would say, his “negatives” are lower than Obama’s.

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