|Barack Obama |
Is the President unfairly beating up on financiers? That’s what Anthony Scaramucci, founder of fund of funds Skybridge Capital, suggested during a town hall-style meeting with Barack Obama on CNBC's “Investing in America.”
“We have felt like a piñata,” said Scaramucci, a Harvard Law School classmate of the President who joked about once fouling him playing basketball. “We certainly felt like we’ve been wacked with a stick.”
Obama took a friendly tone, but offered a sharp retort to the question. “Most folks on Main Street feel like they got beat up on,” said Obama in his live response. “There’s a big chunk of the country that thinks I have been too soft on Wall Street. What I've tried to do is just try to be practical.”
"When I hear folks who say that somehow we're being too tough on Wall Street, but after a huge crisis the top 25 hedge fund managers took home a billion dollars in income that year. A billion. That's the average for the top 25," Obama said.
Obama used the example of carried interested. “If you’re making a billion dollars a year after a very bad financial crisis where eight million people lost their jobs,” he said, referencing AR’s Rich List of the top 25 earning hedge fund managers, “you shouldn’t be feeling put upon.”
“There are complicated economic arguments as to why this isn’t really income, this is more like capital gains, and so forth, which is a fair argument to have,” said the president. “But the notion that somehow me saying maybe you should be taxed more like your secretary when you’re pulling home a billion dollars or one hundred million dollars a year, I don’t think is me being extremist or anti-business.”
Here's the video from CNBC.