When Wall Street turned out in force to support Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, many of us wondered why the nation’s financial wizards had decided to fund the redistributionists, populists, and class warriors. It appears that they have also begun to wonder that themselves. The New York Times reports that the same wealthy backers that helped Obama raise more money than any other presidential candidate have decided to switch horses for the midterms:
If the Democratic Party has a stronghold on Wall Street, it is JPMorgan Chase.
Its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, is a friend of President Obama’s from Chicago, a frequent White House guest and a big Democratic donor. Its vice chairman, William M. Daley, a former Clinton administration cabinet official and Obama transition adviser, comes from Chicago’s Democratic dynasty.
But this year Chase’s political action committee is sending the Democrats a pointed message. While it has contributed to some individual Democrats and state organizations, it has rebuffed solicitations from the national Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. Instead, it gave $30,000 to their Republican counterparts. …
A spokesman for JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on its political action committee’s contributions or relations with the Democrats. But many Wall Street lobbyists and executives said they, too, were rethinking their giving.
“The expectation in Washington is that ‘We can kick you around, and you are still going to give us money,’ ” said a top official at a major Wall Street firm, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House. “We are not going to play that game anymore.”
Wall Street fund-raisers for the Democrats say they are feeling under attack from all sides. The president is lashing out at their “arrogance and greed.” Republican friends are saying “I told you so.” And contributors are wishing they had their money back.
It didn’t take too much of Hopenchange for Wall Street to see the light, did it? Just a year of redistributionist policies, confiscatory tax proposals, and their constant demonization at the hands of Obama and Democratic Party leaders has convinced them that they made a bad investment. While Wall Street deserves some of the blame for the financial collapse, they know better than anyone that the root of the financial crisis came from government intervention in the lending market and the insistence of Congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitize risky mortgages while passing them off as safe quasi-government bonds.
Of course, they also knew that last year and decided to play along with the man who seemed destined to win the general election. Perhaps by supporting his campaign, they thought they could convince him to contain the angry rhetoric. Instead, Obama has fueled the “pitchforks and torches” campaign by constantly demonizing the investor class as the villains who created the Great Recession.
Now, the scales have fallen, and as one executive told the Times, “If the President wanted to turn every Democrat on Wall Street into a Republican, he is doing everything right.” However, they only have themselves to blame for backing the raging populists and helping them to positions of power. What else did they expect from that strategy? For their shock, shock! that redistributionists and populists are hostile to Wall Street, the entire class gets a Captain Louis Renault Award.