Although he has spoken harshly about them, Barack Obama received more money from Wall Street bankers than any other politician in two decades. This brings to mind the old song: “You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all. You always pick the sweetest rose and squeeze it ‘till the petals fall.”
In his Oct. 6 news conference, Obama said that most actions on Wall Street weren’t illegal “just immoral,” and that his administration was cracking down on Wall Street banks (“the one you love”) with the 2,000-plus-page Dodd-Frank regulatory nightmare.
Many practices on Wall Street, the president charged, “had a huge destructive impact” (squeezing the “rose”), and the “petals” are falling in the form of such confusing and expensive rules that some banks are tied in knots.
Many are having to fire people. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan announced his bank would have to lay off at least 30,000 people out of its 288,000 employees. The bank took in an excess of worthless mortgage-backed securities in recent years, mainly under pressure from irresponsible Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
As for the mobs known as “Occupy Wall Street,” Obama seemed to excuse their disruptive behavior as dissatisfaction with the down-trodden economic condition, which he brazenly claimed that he had worked to solve.
“God bless them,” said the continually confused House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, praising the disruptive protesters. “God bless them for their spontaneity,” Pelosi told reporters. “It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused and it’s going to be effective.”
The comments from Pelosi came after President Obama embraced the protesters in his nationally televised news conference, saying their furor would “express itself politically in 2012 and beyond.”
The Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan watchdog organization that keeps track of lobbyist spending, said Obama had hauled in more money from Wall Street than any other politician. It found that Obama had been given more money from Bank of America than any other candidate dating back to 1991. The pay-out totaled $421,242 in 2008 contributions from bank executives, employees and PACs.
By the end of the 2008 campaign, executives connected to Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan dumped $15.8 million into Obama’s campaign to sweeten relations with the new president.
Some Wall Street executives aren’t so sweet on Obama now, however, and are giving campaign money to Mitt Romney instead. One executive, who asked for anonymity, said he was sorry he ever gave to Obama.
Goldman Sachs contributed slightly over $1 million to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, compared with a little over $394,600 to the 2004 Bush campaign. Citigroup gave $736,771 to Obama in 2008, compared with $320,820 to Bush in 2004. Executives and others connected with the Swiss bank UBS AG donated $539,424 to Obama’s 2008 campaign, compared with $416,950 to Bush in 2004. And JP Morgan Chase gave Obama’s campaign $808,799 in 2008, but did not show up among Bush’s top donors in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Obama’s close relationship with JP Morgan Chase was highlighted earlier this year when he tapped Bill Daley, a former top executive with the bank, to replace Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.
Wall Street’s generosity to Obama didn’t end with his 2008 campaign either. Wall Street donors contributed $4.8 million to underwrite Obama’s inauguration, according to a Jan. 15, 2009 Reuters report.
So far, Wall Street has raised $7.2 million in the current electoral cycle for President Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Obama’s 2012 Wall Street bundlers include people like Jon Corzine, former Goldman Sachs CEO and former New Jersey governor; Azita Raji, a former investment banker for JP Morgan; and Charles Myers, an executive with the investment bank Evercore Partners.
This should blow apart the myth that Wall Street is composed solely of greedy Republicans. But it will only work for those who care about the facts.
With the Wall Street bailout that Obama pushed through could he have possibly been paying off the people who helped get him elected? Solyndra’s $535 million bailout isn’t the only example of “stimulus” spending to bail out the people who brought him to office.
The protesters have been sold a bill of goods, Peter Wallison, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, put forth in an Oct. 12 Wall Street Journal opinion piece. He explained the protesters’ anger should be directed at “those who developed and supported the federal government’s housing policies which were responsible for the financial crisis.”
He explained that half of the mortgages in the country were either “subprime or otherwise weak by 2008.” Most were held or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie. The biggest housing bubble (price increases) lasted from 1997 to 2007. Only a small number of risky mortgages were the result of private lending. When the housing bubble burst in 2007, weak mortgages went into default, pushing down home prices and putting Fannie and Freddie into insolvency and on the back of the government.
Investors bought market-backed securities. And the banks were forced to write down the value of their mortgage-backed assets, raising questions about the liquidity of the large financial institutions and raising investor anxiety and bank withdrawals.
Banks began to freeze credit. Propaganda from the government and a gullible media led to the punitive Dodd-Frank law, “named for Congress’s two key supporters of the government’s destructive housing policies. It also gave us the [misled] occupiers of Wall Street.”
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