Survey Says Main-Streeters Distrust Wall-Streeters

I read the results of an interesting Harris Poll today.  Harris polled 1,010 Americans and found, surprise of surprises, that they don’t trust the folks on Wall Street and they want recently awarded bonuses returned.

Here are the highlights.

The Trust Issues

  • “Most people on Wall Street would be willing to break the law if they believed that they could make a lot of money and get away with it” (71% Agree)
  • “Most successful people on Wall Street deserve to make the kind of money they earn” (30% Agree)
  • “In general people on Wall Street are as honest and moral as other people” (26% Agree)
  • “Recent events have shown that Wall Street should be subject to tougher regulations” (87% Agree)

The Money Issues

  • “Wall Street firms should only pay bonuses when they are doing well and making good profits” (78% Agree)
  • “Bonuses paid by financial institutions, that lost money in 2008, should be returned and be paid to shareholders” (83% Agree)
  • “Most successful people on Wall Street deserve to make the kind of money they earn” (30% Agree)
  • “In order to attract and retain top talent, these companies need to pay these large bonuses” (22% Agree)

The Rub

Wall-Streeters, lobbyists and politicians would have us believe that we, Main-Streeters, aren’t capable of grasping Wall Street’s complex issues.  Seems we understand the issues all too well.  We understand that the institutions that comprise Wall Street are absolutely necessary (62% agree), but we also understand that the people who run those institutions are being unduly rewarded and inadequately supervised.  We understand that a system that rewards executives even when they don’t earn it and provides shareholders and consumers no recourse is broken.

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