President Obama with Sasha (L) and Malia.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
By Ian Salisbury
June 23, 2016

Each year thousands of graduates from the nation’s top colleges flock to Wall Street. That’s not likely for Sasha and Malia Obama, however. At least, according to their dad.

In an interview earlier this month, President Obama told Bloomberg Businessweek, “I’m pretty certain that my daughters will not end up working on Wall Street.”

Obama didn’t explicitly discourage Sasha, 15, and Malia, 17 and headed to Harvard in 2017. But he did suggest Wall Street was sucking too much air from the economy–and perhaps sucking up too much of the nation’s young talent.

“…I do believe—and this isn’t just my bias; I think a lot of economists share this view—that if you start getting to the point where 40 percent of the economy is taken up by the financial sector and that our best and brightest are going into financial work as opposed to engineering or computer science, then we could actually lose our competitive edge over time,” he added.

Workers Employed in the Financial Activities Industries (Seasonally Adjusted) | FindTheData

The president’s admonition comes at a time when the appeal of Wall Street jobs among top graduates, which seemed to dim in the wake of the financial crisis, has seen something of a resurgence.

Earlier this month, investment bank Goldman Sachs, reported receiving 250,000 applications from recent college and business school grads for jobs this summer, up more than 40% since 2012. Other large banks including JPMorgan Chase, which hired on 2% of hopeful graduates, and Citigroup’s investment banking decision, which hired 2.7%, were also awash in applicants.

It’s also a path largely followed by another presidential child, Chelsea Clinton, whose first job out of Stanford was at consulting company McKinsey & Co., another long-time favorite of ambitious, business oriented graduates. Clinton later worked at Avenue Capital Group, a hedge fund.

Like all parents, however, Obama seemed to indulge in a bit of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ When asked what industries, he himself, was considering once he left the office, Obama emphasized his interests in scientific endeavors, like mapping the human genome. But he also suggested he was talking to venture capital firms, essentially investors that make bets on unproven technologies. In other words, the financial industry.

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