RATING WALL STREET'S AGENTS
Even before the market's recent troubles, confidence in the people running Wall Street was not robust--our first figure (see previous page) shows that in early 2008 only 11 percent of Americans had a great deal of confidence in them. That puts Wall Street on a par with Congress, the press, organized labor, and law firms. High confidence in Wall Street reached a peak of 30 percent in the halcyon economic days of 1999 and 2000. Around a quarter of those asked in recent years have had hardly any confidence in those running Wall Street. Republicans are slightly more inclined than Democrats to regard the people running Wall Street highly.
The proportion of Americans saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in banks was near a three-decade low in a June 2008 Gallup survey. Of the 16 institutions included in the poll, banking was the only one to suffer a sharp decline in confidence from 2007. Confidence in banks is considerably higher, however, than confidence in Congress.
Wall Street is absolutely essential because it provides 71% the money business must have for investments Most people on Wall Street would be willing to 63% break the law if they believed they could make a lot of money and get away with it Wall Street is dominated by greed and selfishness 60% Wall Street only cares about making 59% money and absolutely nothing else In general people on Wall Street are as 41% honest and moral as other people Most successful people on Wall Street deserve 40% to make the kind of money they earn In general, what is good for Wall 37% Street is good for the country Source: Harris Interactive, 2006. …