Tags: Pew | financial | reform | banks

Pew Survey: Government Financial Reforms Mostly Helped the Rich and Powerful, Big Banks

By John Morgan   |   Monday, 16 Sep 2013 09:07 AM

Five years after the greatest U.S. financial meltdown since the Great Depression, most Americans say the nation's economic system is no more secure than before the 2008 market crash, and a majority believe government reforms have mostly helped big banks, large corporations and wealthy people.

The survey of more than 1,506 adults by the Pew Research Center found most believe household incomes and jobs have yet to recover. Large majorities said government policies have done little of nothing to help the poor (72 percent), the middle class (71 percent) and small businesses (67 percent), while saying the government policies have done a great deal or a fair amount to help large banks and financial institutions (69 percent), large corporations (69 percent) and rich people (59 percent).

"The belief that the U.S. economic system is no more secure today that it was before the financial crisis is widely shared among demographic groups," the report stated.

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While most believe the individual plight of many Americans has not been eased, 74 percent said the stock market has at least partially recovered and 63 percent said real estate values have at least partially recovered.

The Pew survey found substantially different views by party over whether Washington has gone too far or not far enough with new regulations.

Most Republicans (64 percent) said government regulations have made it harder for the economy to grow, while among Democrats, 62 percent said government regulations have not gone far enough.

The top economic worry among Americans is jobs, according to the survey.

Overall, 40 percent said employment is the economic issue that worries them most, while 24 percent cited the budget deficit, 22 percent said higher prices and only 10 percent said financial and housing markets were their top economic concern.

As for President Obama, the Pew survey found 52 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy, and only 33 percent — the "lowest mark of his presidency" — approve of his stewardship of foreign policy, Pew reported.

Politico reported the U.S. Treasury Department is actively seeking to rebut a Time magazine cover story, "The Myth of Financial Reform," even before it is published on Sept. 23.

Writing on the Treasury blog, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Anthony Coley said, "In the fall of 2008, our economy faced challenges on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. In response, the federal government took unprecedented actions to protect the economy and reform a broken and outdated financial system to provide better protections for taxpayers and consumers. The notion that these reforms are somehow a 'myth,' as [Time writer] Rana Foroohar suggests in her Sept. 23, 2013 story is wrong."

Politico said "the targeting of a specific article is a unique move for the Treasury Department."

Editor’s Note: 75% of Seniors Make This $152,000 Social Security Mistake (See Easy Fix)

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