A reader alerted me to this clip of Matt Taibbi with Sam Seder who was guest hosting on Countdown last night. They were discussing the sensitive bankers and their delicate feelings and Taibbi posited that this is mutually advantageous to the President and the bankers because it makes Obama looks like the scourge of Wall Street to his base when he really isn't and it allows the bankers to have more leverage over Obama. He even speculated that the White House or the bankers may have planted the story for mutually advantageous propaganda.
I think there is some truth to this. The bankers don't want to give an inch because they are making out like bandits. So, they are keeping the pressure on the White House in whatever way they can, most especially with the implied threat that they will withhold campaign donations. (Wall Street was the Obama campaign's single largest sector donor after all.)
However, contrary to what Taibbi thinks, I also think they sincerely feel put-upon and wrongly demonized for doing what they consider to be "God's work" by being "productive" and making it possible for the little parasites to live their meager, useless lives in the comfort they provide. They expect worshipful gratitude for being selfish scum and they aren't getting it.
Certainly the Obama administration does benefit from being seen as an enemy of Wall Street even as they deal with the sensitive whiners with an extremely light hand. He has a high approval rating from Democrats so you have to assume that's working for him. The problem is that the policies aren't good and are likely to result in an anemic economy going in to 2012. It's hard to see how that benefits him or the Democratic party which will bear the brunt of the blame after four years.