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Home News USA Most Americans see Wall Street as Necessary but Think the People who Run it are Dishonest and Overpaid

Most Americans see Wall Street as Necessary but Think the People who Run it are Dishonest and Overpaid
added: 2012-05-10

Each year The Harris Poll asks a series of questions about Wall Street, which is defined to include "the nation's largest banks, investment banks, stockbrokers, and other financial institutions." Again, this year, there is a feeling among the American public that Wall Street has problems.

An overwhelming 82% to 15% majority of adults believe recent events have shown that "Wall Street should be subject to tougher regulation". At the same time, by almost 2-to-1, a strong 62% to 34% majority believes that "Wall Street is absolutely essential". One reason for this conflict is that over half of U.S. adults (55%) believe that Wall Street and what it does benefits the country while over two in five (42%) believe it harms the country.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 1,016 adults surveyed by telephone between April 10 and 17, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Some of the other main findings of this year's poll are:

•Almost four in five Americans (78%) believe that Wall Street firms should only pay bonuses when they are doing well and making good profits;

•Seven in ten U.S. adults (70%) believe 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;

•Just over two-thirds of adults (68%) do not believe that people on Wall Street are as honest and moral as other people;

•Two-thirds (67%) of U.S. adults do not believe that what is good for Wall Street is good for the country; and,

•Almost two-thirds (64%) do not believe most successful people on Wall Street deserve to make the kind of money they earn.

There is no sign of any recovery in Wall Street's reputation. Most of these numbers are little changed from last year, and are substantially worse than they were before the financial crisis of 2008.

So what?

Given the recently released findings on the reputations of financial services firms in the 2012 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® (RQ®) Study, these results are not surprising. What is new and interesting here though, says Robert Fronk, EVP Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, is that, "A majority of the public is clearly able to separate the value that Wall Street can bring from the lack of values that they say exist in its ranks." "This distinction gives a ray of hope and a high level roadmap to those looking to rebuild the image of Wall Street."

Source: PR Newswire

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