Stock markets are rigged, most believe

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of voters say the stock market is rigged against them and a majority say Wall Street and big banks hurt average Americans, according to poll results released Thursday by a pro-regulation group.

The survey commissioned by Better Markets also found that 60 percent of voters support stricter federal regulation of banks and other financial institutions.

About 74 percent of Democratic voters and 56 percent of independents favored tougher oversight, while just 46 percent of Republicans did, according to the nationwide poll of 1,000 people likely to vote in this fall’s elections.

The results were released in conjunction with this week’s fourth anniversary of passage of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.

The legislation, which Congress approved with almost no Republican support, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and enacted new regulations designed to prevent future financial crises and government bailouts.

The poll showed that voters are strongly dissatisfied with federal oversight of Wall Street and large banks nearly six years after the 2008 financial crisis.

About 89 percent of respondents said the federal government does a poor or fair job of regulating the financial industry.

About 64 percent of the respondents — and 62 percent of those who own stocks — said they agreed with the statement: “The stock market is rigged for insiders and people who know how to manipulate the system.”

About 32 percent of respondents, and 35 percent of those with stocks, said they believed the market was not rigged and “mostly fair for everyday investors.”

When asked if Wall Street and big banks “hurt everyday Americans,” 55 percent of respondents agreed and 41 percent disagreed.

Democrats felt most strongly that large financial firms hurt average Americans, with 62 percent agreeing. About 57 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans agreed.

The poll was conducted by Democratic firm Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner Research and has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

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