A plea from Wall Street: Don't hate us

Image consultants have been called in to help

Wall Street has hired pollsters, lobbyists and PR firms to try and improve its image and counter the populist backlash against bankers. The effort, which is costing about $85,000 a month, is being spearheaded by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. It represents about 600 Wall Street firms, including big players like Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. that were beneficiaries of taxpayer bailouts. The group says it needs to embrace change and accountability to counter the “widespread skepticism about the industry’s commitment to this needed change.” Along with reaching out to the media, it will also lobby in Washington. “The mess is so big that we all have to work together,” said the minutes from one meeting, which were obtained by Bloomberg.

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