Jonathan Chait

The Day In Class Warfare

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Our long national nightmare is over:

JPMorgan Chase kicked off the earnings season on Friday with news that it turned a strong $17.4 billion profit in 2010, up 48 percent from $11.7 billion the year before, as the consumer lending environment improved and commercial banking notched record results.

The rosy report could pave the way for JPMorgan to increase its dividend by as much as a dollar. Wall Street has been anxiously awaiting JPMorgan’s earnings, hoping it will signal that 2011 will be the year plump shareholder payouts return.

Thank goodness.

In other news, Wall Street remains furious at Obama for his anti-business policies:

Obama’s team is running into resistance in at least one key fundraising hub New York City, where some of Obama’s biggest 2008 backers have bitterly protested last year’s passage of financial reform legislation and what they perceived as an unfair bad-mouthing of bankers during the debate. ...

Among the fundraising meccas that could prove most vexing is New York City, which ranked as the top metropolitan fundraising source for Obama’s presidential campaign three years ago, producing $42 million in donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan tracker of political money. 

A good chunk of that cash came from hedge fund investors who were drawn to Obama’s pledges to usher in a new way of doing things in Washington. Although the White House sent senior aides, such as AxelrodValerie Jarrett and Austan Goolsbee, to try to assuage the angst, not everyone has been mollified. 

Daniel Loeb, founder of the Third Point Management hedge fund, wrote a scathing December rant to fellow Obama Wall Street bundlers – fundraisers who tap their own networks of friends to drive cash to the campaign suggesting the perfect holiday gift for each of them: A book about battered wives who can’t leave their abusive husbands. 

“I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the President will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words,” Loeb wrote. “I mean when I am alone with him – at $30,000 a plate fund raisers – he’s really nice and once I got invited to the White House!” 

Imagine how much money they'd be making if the president didn't abuse them so.

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