Politico offers a fascinating glimpse at some behind-the-scenes dialogue between POTUS and a group of bank CEOs that occurred at a March 27, 2009 meeting at the White House. The tone of the meeting was one way and it was set by the President:
"Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees — and, by extension, to themselves. 'These are complicated companies,' one CEO said. Offered another: 'We’re competing for talent on an international market.' But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. 'Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.' 'My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.' [emphasis added]."
Seriously, how tone deaf and clueless are these guys? It is a shame that these folks weren't forced to share the same fate as GM's CEO Rick Wagoner last week.