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The week of stock market talk was sharply criticized by Republican leaders in Congress and television stock market commentators.

“It’s not a tracking poll. It’s real. The stock market reflects real money. It reflects real loss,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican.

“The stock market is the country right now. This is where people’s wealth is, this is their pension plans, their 401(k)s and IRAs,” said CNBC investment guru Jim Cramer, who went from being an Obama voter to one of Mr. Obama’s fiercest critics.

But now the criticism is beginning to come from Wall Street, too, as the economy worsens and stock markets have fallen sharply in the past month.

Mr. Wyss, for example, questions whether Mr. Obama should be turning his attention, as he did last week, to health care reform at a time when the economy is critically ill and he doesn’t have much of the team in place at the Treasury Department.

“Health care is a critical issue, but you have got to concentrate on getting this economy going first,” he said.

“There’s [Treasury Secretary] Timothy Geithner sitting in his office, trying to save the world, and without an undersecretary, a deputy secretary or an assistant secretary. I talked to some people at Treasury, and they say they’re not hearing from Geithner because those layers of posts in between are still vacant.”

Asked whether he would say the markets’ plunge was a sign of no confidence in the White House’s recovery plans, Mr. Wyss replied, “Yeah, I would say.”

“Part of it is, they feel there’s no ‘there’ there. They don’t have [fully worked out] plans. They are still in the formation stage. These guys have been there 45 days, but he promised to hit the ground running, and it’s more like they landed up to their knees in cement. A lot of the cement was left there by the previous administration.”

“I don’t think Obama’s done the greatest job, but the bar has been set pretty low by the previous administration,” he said.

Added Mr. Bandholz: “They’ve done nothing to stop the fall in the stock market, nothing directly.” Asked what they could do to turn the markets around, he replied, “They could cut the capital-gains taxes.”

“The administration has not had much sympathy for stockholders or the market in general,” he said.

After the rough week, Mr. Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address for an economic pep talk, telling Americans he understands their hardships and to tick off the steps he’s prodded government to take.

“We will continue to face difficult days in the months ahead,” Mr. Obama said. “But I also believe that we will get through this - that if we act swiftly and boldly and responsibly, the United States of America will emerge stronger and more prosperous than it was before.”