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Obama prize gets mixed review on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AFP) - Workers in New York's financial center were divided Friday over President Barack Obama's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, some praising him as a force for good and others dismissing Obama as over-hyped.

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Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Supporters noted Obama's eloquent push for reconciliation between the United States and an increasingly hostile world, particularly his attempt to build bridges with Muslim countries.

"I think it is well deserved, he is doing its best. He is doing good, trying to keep peace in the world," said Maria Hirak as she hurried to work outside the New York Stock Exchange.

"It was a good choice. He has really changed the public discussion around the world about the US being more engaged with the rest the world," said Bruce Schachne, who also works in finance.

"He is focused on nuclear weapons, on the Middle East, on reaching out to Muslims, so he reversed a lot of the previous policies and that are the good reasons to choose him."

Meanwhile, detractors on Wall Street, which is clawing its way out of the turmoil of the US financial collapse just before Obama was elected last year, said the president is more talk than action.

A man who would only identify himself as J.P., 44 years old, said he was shocked.

"I don't think he has done anything. He is more style than substance. The Nobel is a highly political thing and a beauty contest, it is not about substance.

"There are much more people out there doing more for peace than the president. He is just visible."

Mary, who also declined to give her full name, and who works in insurance, echoed that sentiment.

"Nobody knows what he has done. He hasn't accomplished anything," she said.

Noting that only two other sitting US presidents had received the honor -- Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson -- she said Obama was not of the same caliber.

"It is biased, nonsense and silly."

But Schachne, 44, said such talk was part of hardline opposition to Obama. "It is really a fringe group, maybe 20 percent or 30 percent of the population," he said.

"That minority will hate the Nobel Price being given to him because those people are fundamentally against the rest of the world and against the US engaging in a constructive way with it. They are isolationists."


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