Obama Fundraiser Draws Tepid Response From Wall Street

The investment industry feels targeted by the president’s policies.

Posted: 10/03/2011 02:30 PM EDT

When Wall Street needed a bailout from the federal government in 2008 to prevent the nation’s economy from teetering over the edge, Obama, who raised a lot of money during his first bid for the White House from the very people he’s since then described as “fat cat bankers,” supported the plan. Last Friday, however, during a Manhattan fundraiser hosted by billionaire Warren Buffett, the turnout by Wall Street’s elite was “strong but less than overwhelming” and raised about $1.5 million, The New York Times reports.

 

Investment bankers are widely believed to be unhappy with President Obama, whose administration considers a Wall Street reform bill passed last year that imposes greater oversight and regulation on the industry one of the highlights of its tenure. In addition, during the latest deficit reduction debate between the White House and congressional Republicans, the administration is calling for a tax increase that would impact their personal bottom lines.

 

“In the last election, people were tripping over themselves to get on the Obama bandwagon,” Michael J. Driscoll, a former Bear Stearns trader turned university professor, told the Times. “Things have changed; Wall Street is not happy being under attack by the administration.”

 

Buffett is not surprised by Wall Street’s tepid response to Obama 2012 or the president’s belief that it must share in the sacrifice required by all Americans in rebuilding the nation’s economy. But he also believes that Obama will win re-election and that the economy will indeed to improve, which would help his prospects.

 

“We are coming out of this one, I am virtually certain,” Buffett told the Times. “I see figures of 70-some companies daily. I have a lot of information coming in and basically everything to do with home construction is as bad as it ever has been, and everything else is getting better.”

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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