Banking Industry Betting on Romney

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:36 PM

By Greg McDonald

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The nation’s banking industry is apparently deserting President Barack Obama this year, choosing instead to bet on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in the wake of tougher administration policies on Wall Street.
 
According to the Boston Globe, the top five donor groups to the Romney campaign are political action committees (PACs) and individuals affiliated with large financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and embattled JPMorgan Chase.
 
Using data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign finance reports, the Globe found the Obama campaign’s top contributing groups do not include any financial organizations.
 
His 2008 presidential bid, by contrast, included generous donations from the nation’s top banks, many of them — including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase — at the top of his donor list in that first run for the presidency.
 
Now, Obama’s top five donor groups include PACs associated with Microsoft or Google, and high-profile international law firms like Sidley Austin and DLA Piper, the Globe reported Wednesday.
 
“There’s no doubt that there’s been a big diminution of support for the president,’’ William M. Daley, Obama’s former chief of staff and a former top JPMorgan Chase executive, told the Globe. “People in the financial services sector are saying, ‘The president has been too tough on us, both in policy and on rhetoric.’’’
 
The shift in contributions hasn’t stopped Obama from going after the financial industry. If anything, last week’s trading loss by JPMorgan Chase of more than $2 billion on speculation has prompted an even tougher response from the administration.
 
Obama is pushing for new regulations on Wall Street to be added to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul measure, which includes a provision designed to discourage speculative investments.
 
According to the Globe, campaign finance records show the financial industry has contributed about $20 million to Restore Our Future, the independent super PAC backing the Romney campaign.
 
Meanwhile, the industry has contributed only $200,000 so far to Priorities USA Action, the PAC tied to the Obama re-election effort.

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