Americans Feel We Are On Right Track After 100 Days of Obama Presidency

It remains to be seen how well Obama’s policies will work, but all the talk of hope really is showing up in the polls. For the first time since January 2004 (after the capture of Saddam Hussein) an AP poll has found that more Americans believe we are on the right track (48 percent) than wrong track (44 percent). This is an increase from 40 percent who thought we were on the right track in February.

It isn’t only AP. shows the trend:


  1. 1
    Christopher Skyi says:

    This is probably going to change — and I’m not just talking about regression to the mean (i.e., going back to the long term average for presidential approval ratings).

    The bailouts, like 2 day old fish, are just starting to smell:

    Give Me $3, and I’ll Give You $2

    “Great deal. That’s what Congressional Oversight leader Elizabeth Warren, is saying is the “best case” scenario for taxpayer return on bailout funds. But don’t tell that to Geithner, who was trotted out on his Obama/Bernanke leash after dismal corporate results this morning to assure us most banks were over-capitalized. This will again point to the failings of the stress tests, which will not end up having tested anything stressful at all. Even cattle-prodded bulls like Marketwatch chief economist Irwin Kellner, had this to say. “Regardless of the results of the government’s stress tests, you can be sure of one thing: Every bank will come in above average, just like all the children who live in Lake Wobegon.”

    “Wake up, Wake up, Wake up! Caterpillar took its first loss in 17 years today, and crapped on Obama for not providing more infrastructure relief. Bank of Mellon profits were down 51%, perennial bull Blackrock saw profits plunge 65%, the NYT…dead industry, dead profits, down 30% last 2 days. How can anyone truly believe things are getting better for those of us not sitting in Goldman’s chair?

    Credit card defaults are at all-time highs, ditto student loans. Delaying ARM resets is a sham because those loans are negative amortization; the balances are still climbing. We’re just delaying the big kaboom until next year. Is it any wonder why banks are hoarding TARP funds in their coffers? Loaning money to Americans is a losing game.”

    The Big Bet (along with everyone else) slams team Obama for coddling the big banks:

    “A panel of economists, including Nobel winner Joseph Stiglitz and Simon Johnson, formerly of the IMF, testified before Congress today that basically team Obama’s actions to date have been disastrous. “In short, our bailouts run the risk of transferring large amounts of money, often in non-transparent ways, to those banks that did the worse job in risk management – hardly principles on which normal market economics is based,” said Stiglitz. But if we’ve learned anything during this debacle, it’s that our government won’t listen to those who have been in the know, those like Taleb, Janszen, and Roubini. They will put our future in those already vetted by their banking masters, such as Summers and Geithner, those who have been dead wrong about everything to date.”

    It seems that everyone (in finance, in banking, in economics) who ISN’T part of team Obama sees team Obama in a slow motion car wreak with the Banks, and — again — the heart of the charge is  Geithner’s overly close relationship with Wall Street executives:

    Are the Knives are Coming Out for Geithner?

    “A super long story in the New York Times honing in on Geithner’s close, as in overly close, relationship with Wall Street executives, is a stunner.  One has to assume a story of this sort is a lagging indicator, that Geithner is perceived to be sufficiently at risk to be fair game.

    Thus what is surprising about tonight’s New York Times story, “Member and Overseer of the Finance Club,” on Timothy Geithner is not its content, but that it was written at all, and moreover (as of now) is a front page item. It’s extraordinarily long for a weekday story. the number of column inches usually reserved for natural, not bureaucratic disasters.

    Any reader of any remotely plugged in econoblog, or savvy enough to read between the lines of MSM reports will know that Geithner is a creature of the financial establishment.

    At a minimum, Geithner crony capitalist policies are finally leading to a hard look at his loyalties.

    Of course, if one were Machiavellian, this move may be Team Obama realizing rather late that they have made the success of Obama’s presidency contingent on the Summer/Geithner program, and now they are trying, even more so than before. to pin the policies on Geithner. That may work tactically but in the end, the banking mess is too central a problem for Obama to try to shift blame of policy failures onto his team. He picked the chefs, he has to eat the cooking. If the economy is still a mess in 2012, he will not escape the taint.”

  2. 2
    Christopher Skyi says:

    Yikees! The NYT is really going after Geithner — yesterday’s “Geithner, as Member and Overseer, Forged Ties to Finance Club” article was 5000 words plus!

    And on a Sunday: the perfect time because everyone had time to read it — and read it they did!

    Barry L. Ritholtz, of The Big Picture Blog (and author of the upcoming book, Bailout Nation, echoing Are the Knives are Coming Out for Geithner? had this to say:

    “There is a huge, 5,000 word, front page article in the NYT today on Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. The article on the former president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank is your required reading today.

    You may note that two of the most quoted banking experts — Chris Whalen and Josh Rosner — are not quoted in the piece;  (They will be discussing this at our TBP conference in June).

    Now for a little inside baseball stuff: They have been the ones painstakingly building the case against Geithner since his nomination. (Note the extensive usage of the former NY Fed Prez’ schedule).  The assumption, referenced in the Stiglitz quote above, is the unusually close relationships between the NY Fed Pres and the C-level execs of Wall Street’s giant financial institutions has put him in the mindset of Wall Street, not the taxpayers.

    I would imagine that this piece was 3 months in the making. You can rest assured that the two boys — who are presenting a panel on banking at the upcoming conference — were educating the writers of the Times missive as to the many foibles of Turbo-tax Timmy over that period.”

    All fodder for the upcoming tea parties this summer — and beyond.

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