‘Hope’ stands as a fleeting memory for most Americans as unemployment stagnates, housing prices fall and economic growth looms as a lofty promise unfulfilled. And as we get closer to the 2012 Presidential Election, it’s becoming clear that the ideological political landscape that dominated the 2008 election cycle will be eclipsed by a menacing elephant in the room: the economy.
The President is well aware of the uphill battle he faces when it comes to convincing voters and campaign financers that his economic policies and regulations have not only been what we needed the past three years, but also what we need in the next four. According to The New York Times, President Obama has already started reaching out to the skeptical financial industry on Wall Street, hoping to win back one of his most vital sources of campaign cash.
While many on Wall Street view the President’s financial rhetoric as unfair to their industry, his apparent goal is to prove that his fiscal policies have helped to bring the banks and financial markets back to health and toward sustained growth.
The argument goes that the economy would have been dramatically worse at this stage had the Obama administration not taken the action it did in the wake of the real estate and financial crisis.
But how do you prove a negative? You can’t.
Historically, recessions have been ended by a wave of homeowner refinancing that predictably follows a lowering of interest rates. The President faces a number of obstacles to accomplishing a refinancing boom, however.