From Liberal Conspiracy A new poll (in the USA)shows that the public blame failures in the banking sector for causing the deficit more than they blame overspending.
45% of respondents said “greed and recklessness amongst bankers on Wall Street and in London” was most responsible for the deficit and growing national debt, with 43% blaming “the failure of governments to properly regulate banks and financial institutions”.
‘Over-spending’ options all received significantly lower scores – 28% blamed “overspending on benefits and immigration”; 19% “overspending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” and just 3% blamed “overspending on schools and hospitals”.
Participants in the poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner were asked to pick the top two causes of the deficit and growing debt.
Just 6% placed the blame entirely at the feet of overspending, while more than three times as many (19%) exclusively blamed the failures of the banking sector.
While nearly half the population (44%) saw spending as one of the two main causes of the deficit, more than two thirds (69%) saw banking failures as at least one of the top causes.
Even 2010 Tory voters don’t exclusively blame spending. Just 7% picked only spending options in the poll, while 60% identified banking failures as one of the main causes.
James Morris, Director of GQRR’s European Office, said:
Voters take a broad view of the causes of the deficit. It isn’t enough just to control spending – voters also want to know that politicians are willing to change the culture and practices of the banking sector. The government’s failure to move strongly and rapidly in this area is one reason why their promise of ‘short term pain for long term gain’ has begun to sound hollow.”
This poll also shows why banks face such a struggle to rebuild their reputations. Consumers don’t just see bankers as greedy, they think that greed has directly impacted on their lives and their country. To rebuild trust bankers need to be seen to embrace measures that protect the wider economy. Bankers that becomes the champions of change rather than its enemy are poised to do well.
The survey questioned 3,174 respondents and was weighted to be nationally representative. Fieldwork was conducted 13-16 July 2012.