Hedge fund managers prefer Putin over Congress

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Wall Street turned its back on the government, and particularly the Democratic Party, years ago, despite initially supporting President Obama during his 2008 presidential run. So the question isn’t if money managers are disillusioned with the government, but to what level. The latest polling is eye-opening to say the least.

Buried in an institutional hedge fund manager survey is a rather staggering sentiment, both from a political and economic sense. Hedge fund managers were asked to place world leaders on a “naughty or nice” list, where they would gift them either an iPhone 6 (good) or a lump of coal (bad, obviously). It was up to them to determine what went into the thinking behind their “gift” choice.

The leader on the “nice” list was Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who has maintained a moderated stimulus program created by her predecessor that has helped buoy the stock market (note: the survey was conducted during November and early December – the market has performed terribly during the first week of 2015 and Fed guidance has changed slightly).

Topping the “naughty” list was Congress, with 95% of hedge fund managers granting them a lump of coal for their work over the last year. That’s a lofty number on its own, but even more so considering Congress got a worse grade than Russian President Vladimir Putin (93% negative).

Think about that one. You’ve got the leader of a country embroiled in economic chaos with global ramifications whose attitude toward the U.S., both politically and economically, has been cold to say the least. But he is nothing compared to U.S. Congress. Amazing.

Obama didn’t fare all that well either, finishing fourth on the “naughty” list, just behind Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. That follows in line with an earlier study that found just 17% of financial industry participants approve of the job Obama has done, with 73% disapproving. That’s a stark contrast from the general population, which gives Obama a 41% approval rating,

Wall Street really, really dislikes the government.

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