Banks absent from Obama business gathering

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks to members of the media outside of the White House after a meeting with President Barack Obama on November 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the president will meet with top business leaders.

Yesterday, President Obama met with leaders of unions and progressive groups at the White House, to talk about the fiscal cliff. Today, he is scheduled to speak with a dozen CEO's. 

Wal-Mart has a seat at the table, alongside Ford, IBM and Xerox, but the only financial services firm is American Express.

That doesn’t bother Kathryn Wylde, who heads the Partnership for New York City, a group that represents the leaders of many companies based in Manhattan.

“I’m sure that, as the White House moves forward, they are going to be turning to Wall Street and the financial services industry to support them,” she says, “and I know they’ll be there.”

According to Wylde, executives are frustrated. They wonder why lawmakers haven’t been able to agree on any long-term solutions.

“America’s business community is just not going to leave things to Washington this time around,” she says.

Jim Kessler is the co-founder of a think tank called Third Way, and he says the election changed things.

“There was a lot of wait-and-see among business,” he notes.

Now, executives -- including Wall Street executives -- know who the players are, and the ones Kessler has talked to want a deal

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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