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Obama Isn't Working to Win Back Big Business

By Jacob Wolinsky   |   Thursday, 30 Sep 2010 11:13 AM

When Barack Obama won the presidency, he had the support of many prominent business leaders, chief executive officers and investors.

Less than two years, later this support has completely collapsed.

According to Bloomberg News, “more than three-quarters of U.S. investors view Obama as anti-business and are pessimistic about his policies.” This means a majority of investors have very negative views regarding Obama’s economic policies.

Dan Loeb, a hedge-fund manager and in my opinion one of the best investors alive, recently circulated a letter accusing Obama of undermining free-market capitalism and the rule of law. Loeb was a big donor to the Obama campaign in 2008, and he is a former classmate of the president.

Investors aren’t the only ones who are frightened by Obama’s tactics. These same views are also taking hold among some of the biggest CEOs in the country.

Many prominent business leaders and CEOs claim that the Obama administration has been turning a deaf ear to their concerns, misgivings and legitimate business-related grievances.

The fact that the Obama White House has no one in its immediate circle with a deep business background doesn’t help that perception.

These grievances used to be little-publicized lamentations by private business leaders, such as Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg. He used to be prudent with his comments on the current administration. However, he lambasted Obama's policies in a recent Washington, D.C., speech, claiming that the current political leadership has created an "increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation."

He prefaced his claim with his observation that Obama's policies are inevitably geared toward regulatory expansion in "every sector of economic life." This, he added, makes it "harder to raise capital and create new businesses."

Another disgruntled business leader, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, has claimed that Obama doesn’t sympathize with entrepreneurs.

Yet another strong statement came from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, when it claimed that the present leadership has "vilified industries."

Obama appears to be oblivious to this growing disenchantment by business leaders. In a recent speech with business executives, Obama offended them by reading a teleprompter. Moreover, many of them feel that when they meet with the president, he is more interested in photo opportunities and isn’t interested in hearing their views.

Are business leaders and investors overacting when they choose to distrust Obama? Apparently not, and there are many reasons why.

Obama doesn’t have a "go-to" person for business decisions and economic consultations.

Obama seemed to be too harsh with business executives during the recession. He could have managed to be less antagonizing to these business leaders.

And finally, his policies right now seem to be geared toward greater government regulation of businesses, something which is scary for most American entrepreneurs.

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When Barack Obama won the presidency, he had the support of many prominent business leaders, chief executive officers and investors. Less than two years, later this support has completely collapsed. According to Bloomberg News, more than three-quarters of U.S. investors...
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2010-13-30
 

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