“Clearly it was a great quarter for Romney, in terms of fundraising from Wall Street and from securities and banking firms, in particular the biggest one,” said Sheila Krumholz, CRP’s executive director. “It is not surprising that he was able to do that. It is just surprising how rapid the shift has been towards him and away from Obama.”

The abandonment of the president by the financial sector has, indeed, been remarkable in scope and speed. Some of the very companies whose employees cut checks for Obama in 2008 now seem fully devoted to funding his competitor in 2012.

•Goldman Sachs employees, who donated more than $1 million to Obama’s first run for the White House, gave Romney more than $106,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Obama received just over $12,000 during that same period.
•Bank of America employees, who donated more than $388,000 to Obama in 2008, gave Romney more than $77,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Obama received just under $16,000 during that same period.
•CitiGroup employees, who donated about $730,000 to Obama in 2008, gave Romney more than $196,000 during the fourth quarter of 2011. Obama received $3,842 during the same period.

Why the world of finance is leaving Obama is a subject of some irritation among Democratic fundraisers. Wall Street executives, after all, have thrived under the Obama administration. The Justice Department has been notoriously slow in pursuing investigations of fraud. Ditto for the Securities Exchange Commission.