Global Financial Professionals Warm Up to Barack Obama

by Wendy Simmons | January 27, 2012 8:53 am

[1]Although President Barack Obama is having a hard time getting even half of Americans to approve of the job he is doing as president, the global financial community is feeling better about his policies as they relate to the investment climate in the U.S. According to the most recent Bloomberg Global Poll (a quarterly poll of Bloomberg’s customers worldwide — traders, analysts and bankers), 40% of respondents said they were “optimistic” about Obama’s policies. This is a stark improvement from the September poll (just 3 months ago), when only 24% felt optimistic.

Even more encouraging news for the president is the dramatically improved view of the U.S. economy among financial professionals. In September, only 10% of Bloomberg’s customers said that the U.S. economy was improving. This week’s data shows that 50% of respondents now believe the economy is improving. Even more striking: in September, 60% of respondents believed that the U.S. economy was deteriorating, compared to only 16% in January.

Although almost half of these financial insiders are not giving credit to the Obama administration for America’s recovery (49% say he does not deserve credit), the vast majority– 72% — expect that Obama will be re-elected.

Election 2012

What about Obama’s two biggest challengers? According to this poll, respondents are split over whether Obama or Mitt Romney would be better for the global economy: both get the support of 41%. However, Bloomberg’s U.S. customers support his candidacy by 3 to 1 over Obama.

On the campaign trail, Romney makes the case that his private-sector experience in private-equity equips him to be a better steward of U.S. finances than Obama. The financiers Bloomberg interviewed do not necessarily agree: only 45% thought this experience would make him better at managing the economy, while 41% disagreed.

Regardless of what these financial insiders think of Romney as presidential material, they agree with Obama that he pays too little in taxes. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said Romney’s tax rate of 15% was too low.

There is no such ambivalence among the global finance community about a Gingrich presidency. Only 25% of respondents say that Gingrich would be a better president for the global economy than Obama. This must be due in part to the general unease these people have about Gingrich. His “favorable/unfavorable” ratings among the finance community worldwide were bleak: 59% of respondents feel unfavorable towards Gingrich; only 17% feel favorable towards him.

For more information and full results of the Bloomberg Global Poll, check out this Bloomberg News article[2].

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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