Wall Street remains unloved and unforgiven for the crash it helped cause, according to a poll by Harris Interactive released today, which found 82% of Americans want to sack it with more regulations.
“Hostility to Wall Street, and in particular, to the people who worked for Wall Street firms, increased very sharply after the 2008 crash,” Harris said in a press release. “There is no evidence that the American people have begun to forgive the people in Wall Street or to forget the huge problems that they caused.”
One the plus said, the Harris Poll found:
* 59% agree that “Wall Street is absolutely essential” and only 34% think it is not.
* 56% agree that Wall Street “benefits the country” but most of these people 44% believe it only does so “somewhat.”
Now, back to the more overwhelming negative perceptions uncovered by the survey:
* 66% agree that “most people on Wall Street would be willing to break the law if they believed they could make a lot of money and get away with it.”
* 65% disagree that “most successful people on Wall Street deserve to make the kind of money they earn.”
* 61% disagree that that “what is good for Wall Street is good for the country.”
Here’s one clue as to why people feel this way: 75% believe that “Wall Street firms should only pay bonuses when they are doing well and making good profits.”
Attitudes about Wall Street from 1996 to 2006 remained relatively stable, Harris reports, until the 2008 crash. Today, those attitudes show no signs of abating. Bottom line: Go ahead, Wall Street. Keep the money. It won’t buy you love.