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.
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