Barack Obama, Wall Street’s Go to Guy?
By Larry Johnson
September 17, 2008
The turmoil in the capital markets is bad news and is forcing each candidate to reassess their current pronouncements on the economy. So, let’s ask some questions. Of the two candidates for President, who got the most money from the two financial giants now in the news–Lehman Brothers and AIG?
McCain received $117,500 from Lehman Bros.
Obama received $370,524 from Lehman Bros.
How about AIG?
John McCain got $36,875 from AIG
Barack Obama raked in $75,899 (+205%)
Got that? Barack Obama, the guy who supposedly is not beholden to special interests, took three times as much money from Lehman Brothers and more than twice as much from AIG.
Gee, and who did the now Government financed mortgage broker Fannie Mae give its money to when it wanted to influence a politician?
OpenSecrets lists the top three politicians in which FNMA “invested” from 1989 to 2008.
Top Recipients of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008
Name Office State Party Grand Total
Dodd, Christopher S CT D $165,400
Obama, Barack S IL D $126,349 ($6000 came from the PAC)
Kerry, John S MA D $111,000
What about McCain?
The folks at Fannie Mae didn’t show him a lot of love. According to Open Secrets:
McCain, John S AZ R $21,550 (all from individuals).
Oh yeah, and who tabbed the former head of Fannie Mae to head up his Vice Presidential search team? OBAMA, that’s who. Back in May Barack turned to Jim Johnson, former CEO of Fannie Mae. Who is Johnson?
Johnson served as Fannie Mae CEO from 1991 to 1998 and has a long history in both Washington politics and business. He served on the boards of numerous companies, including The Goldman Sachs Group, KB Home, and Target Corporation, and has been Vice Chairman of Perseus LLC. He also was a corporate finance managing director for Lehman Brothers. He was an executive assistant for Vice President Walter Mondale (1977-1981) and a U.S. Senate staff member. Johnson also helped screen running mates for Democratic presidential nominees Walter Mondale in 1984 and John Kerry in 2004.
When it came time for a tough decision who did Barack turn to? A former community organizer per chance? Hell no! He went with the inside the beltway uber lobbyist.
So, Obama bots, save your sanctimonious bullshit. When it comes to cozying up to big players and wealthy Wall Street types smack in the middle of the lastest scandals and crises, Barack Obama is in a league of his own. That is “change” you want to believe in? What a goddamned joke!!
Deal with reality, John McCain wisely was not in bed with these guys. Will the media ask Barack to explain? Probably not.
And to further drive home the point (hat tip to ivet for the link) here is John McCain back in 2006 railing against the power of lobbyists like Fannie Mae:
The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.
For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
McCain’s last comment should lead his next batch of Presidential ads. Where was Barack? He was taking Fannie Mae money. Any questions?