Clinton's relationship with hedge fund managers: it's complicated

Even though he dropped out of the primary race and failed to gain the nomination, Bernie Sanders made a big impact on the Democratic platform and the agenda of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. And if there’s one thing they wound up agreeing on strongly, it’s that the big banks are too powerful and they are badly in need of some serious regulatory control or to simply be broken up. With that in mind, it’s rather curious to learn that Clinton has taken in vast amounts of money from hedge fund managers, leaving Donald Trump in the dust on that metric. (Daily Caller News Foundation)

Hillary Clinton has taken in roughly seven times the amount of donations from hedge funds than Barack Obama did in ’08.

In this election cycle, hedge funds have contributed $122.7 million to Hillary’s campaign. That number is more than twice that of the total contributions hedge funds made in 2012 and it comprises 14 percent of her total campaign purse, reports Market Watch.

Comparing these numbers with Donald Trump (who has allotted just $19,000 from hedge funds), Hillary has $122,681,000 more than Trump from hedge funds. Trump is an anomaly among Republicans — who so far this campaign cycle have gotten in excess of $65.8 million from hedge funds.

Bernie must be spitting nails about now. Hillary’s haul of more than $122M from hedge fund managers not only obliterates the $19K that Donald Trump has taken from similar sources, but it’s very nearly double the amount received by all Republicans combined this year. (They’ve racked up a paltry $66M between them.) And this is the woman who is going to be the new Sheriff of Wall Street?

Keep in mind that as recently as the first day of the Democrats’ convention, Sanders was taking a victory lap over forcing Clinton into his corner on this issue. (CNN)

Yes, he lost the race to Hillary Clinton, but Sanders believes he won by shining a spotlight on the “greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street.” He takes credit for forcing Clinton — and the entire Democratic Party — to get a lot tougher on big banks.

“The Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act,” Sanders told the cheering crowd.

That sounds great, but as the CNN Money analyst pointed out on the same day, Clinton has been very careful not to call for the full return of Glass-Steagall the way Bernie has done consistently since last summer. Also, Hillary has regularly noted that while she supports these ideas in principle, she’s pessimistic about the odds of getting such reforms through a Republican controlled congress. That’s a convenient excuse to have on hand if she doesn’t deliver for Sanders and his supporters once in office. Combine this with her repeated refusal to release the transcripts of speeches she’s given to Wall Street bigwigs and what do you come up with?

Perhaps the easier question to tackle in light of all this evidence is the mystery of why the banking industry is flushing so much money into her candidacy. Why would they do that if she was really gunning for them? No, I’m guessing that Bernie’s first instincts on the campaign trail were good ones. Clinton is talking a good game to keep her base in line, but all this talk of reform is probably going to disappear down the memory hole once she’s in office if she manages to win this election.