|June 30, 2009|
|Wall St.'s Misguided PR Push vs. 'Populist Overaction'|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Wall Street, after receiving billions in taxpayer money, is now launching a PR campaign to save it from the wrath of people who are angry with the shenanigans that brought the financial sector to its knees. Talk about hubris. |
Bloomberg reports the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association is launching an $85K-a-month grassroots blitz to counter a “populist overreaction.” SIFMA counts Bank of America, American International Group, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs among members.
Policymakers and media in New York, London, Washington and Brussels are targeted and there are plans for a “city-by-city, grassroots approach.” Brunswick Group is working on the campaign, getting a $70K retainer, while Burson-Marsteller’s BKSH Worldwide is down for $10K.
Lefty groups, such as Americans United for Change, see the Wall Street PR plan as manna from heaven. Tom McMahon, acting executive director of the group, sums it up nicely, dubbing the grassroots campaign the “Thanks for the Bailout, Suckers—Now Quit Whining Tour.”
Said McMahon in a release: “If Wall Street executives think the public is overreacting to their years of writing their own rules, playing with our money in the stock market like a virtual casino, paying themselves multi-million dollars and throwing lavish parties with their bailout money-it’s frightening to imagine what these guys think might justify a little public outrage.”
Opinion Research Corp. found that nearly 6 in 10 of Americans (58 percent) are “less confident in the fairness of the financial markets” today than a year ago. Regulatory overhaul is needed to restore confidence in the financial system.
Change is coming and no amount of Wall Street PR is going to prevent that.
P.S. I wrote yesterday about Prince George's County naming a school after President Obama. The vote is now in.
The Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of the idea. The Barack Obama Elementary School opens next year in Upper Marlboro. The board believes Obama's election as the first black U.S. President is an accomplishment worthy of the tribute.
(Image via blogs.reuters)
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