Bloomberg Poll: Americans Skeptical Financial Overhaul Will Avert Future
  Crisis

   Almost Four out of Five Americans Surveyed Have Little or No Confidence
                 Measure will Prevent or Soften Future Crisis

Almost Half Say Bill Will Do More to Protect Financial Industry than Consumers

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- July 14, 2010

Americans harbor doubts that a financial-regulation bill about to be passed by
Congress will do what President Barack Obama says it will: help avoid another
crisis and make their finances safer, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

Almost four out of five of Americans (79%) surveyed in a Bloomberg National
Poll this month say they have just a little or no confidence that the measure
being championed by congressional Democrats will prevent or significantly
soften a future crisis. More than three quarters (78%) say they don’t have
much or any confidence the proposal will make their savings and financial
assets more secure.

A plurality -- 47 percent -- says the bill will do more to protect the
financial industry than consumers; 38 percent say consumers would benefit
more.

The full story is on Bloomberg.com at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-13/wall-street-fix-from-congress-seen-ineffectual-by-four-out-of-five-in-u-s-.html

While skeptical about the bill’s benefits, Americans don’t want a return to
the days before the financial markets suffered their biggest turmoil since the
Great Depression: A plurality of respondents says they have become more
supportive in recent months of tougher regulations. By a three-to-one margin
(45% to 15%), Americans have grown more favorable to stronger regulation
rather than less. Even Republicans have become more inclined to stricter
oversight.

Americans are about evenly divided on the question of government regulation in
general. Thirty-five percent of those polled see the need for more oversight,
while 33 percent prefer less; 30 percent say the current situation is
adequate. In some other national polls before the crisis, a plurality favored
less government regulation.

A plurality of respondents age 55 and older -- 39 percent -- still favors a
smaller government role. Younger Americans don’t agree, with only a quarter of
those under 35 in favor of less regulation.

Skepticism about the financial bill, which may be approved this week, cuts
across political party lines. Seventy percent of Democrats have little or no
confidence the proposals will avert or significantly lessen the impact of
another financial catastrophe; 68 percent doubt it will make their savings
more secure.

Americans say the restructuring won’t make much difference in the way Wall
Street does business. Almost half of those polled (47%) say banks will make
few if any changes in the way they act in response to the overhaul; another 22
percent expect only minor changes.

Democrats More Optimistic

Democrats have greater optimism that consumers will benefit more than the
financial industry from the proposals, with 51 percent saying that will be the
result. Just 28 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of independents agree.

Most Americans reject any new government rescues of financial institutions,
such as arranged for New York-based Citigroup Inc. and insurer American
International Group Inc., according to the poll.

They also oppose letting the market work and having the private sector deal
with the consequences of any collapse.

Fifty percent of respondents think the federal government should force a
company to work its way out of any problems, including bankruptcy, through the
courts.

Down on Bailouts

Almost 60 percent of respondents say the $700 billion plan that Congress
passed in late 2008 to help the banks – the Troubled Asset Relief Program --
was an unnecessary bailout.

“The mood of the American public is highly skeptical toward government and its
ability to do right by the average person,” says J. Ann Selzer, president of
the polling firm. “That explains some of the apparent contradiction in seeing
a need for more regulation yet having little confidence that what is currently
on the table will do much for consumers. They just feel they’ve been played
and they don’t want to be fooled again.”

Methodology: The Bloomberg National Poll was conducted July 9-12 for Bloomberg
News by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa. Based on interviews with 1,004 U.S.
adults, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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