September 15th, 2008
05:28 PM ET

Obama, McCain big beneficiaries of Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/art.wallstreet.9.15.08.jpg caption="Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, in New York."]Alexander Mooney
CNN Producer

Both Barack Obama and John McCain have strongly benefited from Wall Street this election cycle, an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics reports.

According to the non-partisan research organization, employees of security and investment firms have donated nearly $10 million to Barack Obama this year and close to $7 million to McCain's presidential bid.

McCain has particularly benefited from Merrill Lynch, the global financial services firm whose sale to Bank of America shook Wall Street Monday morning. He has raised nearly $300,000 from Merrill employees this year — more than any other firm.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, has strongly benefited from employees of Lehman Brothers, the financial firm that filed for bankruptcy Monday morning.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. winning side

    I think the Democrats have more to do with this then the Republicans,
    Some one gave them there big amounts of Cash, Obama has alot of it, I think he should share it, Congress is at fault as well, they shore no how to ruin ones life bye Blaming everyone besides themselfs, How Can we trust anyone of them when they dont even know whats going on, all they want to do is be Mean, and undermining everyone eles besides them self, I for one have had enough of there blame Game,Congress is mostly at fault. they have had this for the Last Eight years as well not just the Republicans. they both have had there hand in our pockets and will we get tired of it,

    September 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  2. Derek

    This election is an IQ test for America. If the citizens of this nation are ignorant enough to elect McCain/Palin, then we deserve the misery and destruction they will bring.

    Good thing I can afford to take my businesses, family and money abroad.

    McCain/Palin will continue the mistakes initiated by Bush, thus assuring this country will sink and fall in a manner similar to the fall of the Roman Empire.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  3. Ray in Atlanta

    When Anderson says the HP is cutting 25K jobs...why doesn"t he state the merger with EDS and that it is 25K over three years... I like AC but it is irresponsible not to give al the facts...Anderson please don't be like your pundits on your show...these folks always say the sky is falling,,, is eassier than explaining it is a global economic cycle-and greed is sometimes a bad side of capitalism..when it goes over-board...as it has done in this credit and housing crisis

    September 15, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  4. Jerry B

    What has the givernment done for the middle class American in the past 20 years. The only way to get this country out of the economical crisis it is in is to stop sending money to other countries. As much money that has been sent to Iraq to support those people would have literally helped Millions of Americans.
    Stop spending abroad and start spending at home.
    I say fire anyone working for IRS and make a 15% tax across the board for every American no matter how rich or poor. Nop need to file every year and no need for IRS or any of the other companies That deal with taxes.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  5. Carl, Portland,OR

    Do you still think that Republicans mean lower taxes and smaller government? Under McCain’s tax plan, if you make less than $112,000 per year, you would pay more taxes than under Obama’s plan. So much for it being Republicans who are looking out for the little guy, huh?According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center in Washington, John McCain’s “deficit reduction” plan would actually increase the already record-setting national debt by over 50%. Today, the national debt sits at just over $9 trillion. John McCain’s plans of lowering taxes, increasing military spending, and continuing the Bush philosophy of big government, would increase the national debt by $5.7 trillion. In fact, his policies would increase the national debt by far more than the Democrats.

    September 15, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  6. john

    I disagree with candy,if Mccaine did not mean it ,he would give a figure,he said so we don't take him seriously just like Candy does not

    September 15, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  7. Lauren, Northern California

    Tonight on Larry King he had a person on a panel named Ralph Reed who supported John McCain. I thought the name sounded familiar so I did a little investigation. Ralph Reed was very involved in the Jack Abramoff scandal. He worked with Abramoff as a lobbyist and was involved with the scandal that rocked Wall Street a while back.

    I heard earlier, about a month or two ago that Ralph Reed gave a fundraiser for John McCain. I would think that it might concern John McCain if he is trying to clean up Washington by having someone involved with Abramoff helping McCain.

    September 15, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  8. cassie

    The problem is not with the persons who encouraged home ownership. The problem is with those who extended credit (mortgages) to those who did not qualify to purchase homes and on top of that inflated the appraised value of the homes bought to create larger mortgages. The mortgages were sold to "bigger fish". Those who were supposed to be monitoring were asleep at switch. Why is anyone surprised that the cards fell? Anyone taking "donations" from the situation is implicated. The more donations, the more implicated. Merely facts.

    September 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  9. Barbara D

    The longer this election continues the more we find out about Obama and his lies to the American people. He is getting as much money from this (if not more than McCain). Let's not forget he is all about change. YEAH RIGHT !!!!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  10. Greg


    Barrak recieved 10 million, Mccain 7 million so why do Wall Street guys want Barrak- higher takes????????
    Barrack says 95% of Americans will get a tax decrease yet only about 50% of Americans pay income takes. This sounds like welfare to 50% of the country. Our Economy is in trouble and raising the taxes of the people who create jobs in this county will only make things worse but atleast those 50% of Americans will get a small chexk, Does anyone really belive Barrack won't raise taxes on those of us who make below $250,000?

    September 15, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  11. keith

    Is that all McCain said, 'the fundamentals of the economy are strong'? He didn't say anything before or after that?

    September 15, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  12. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    This financial mess is nothing more than Republican Herbert Hoover 'Let the Markets Take Care of Themselves' Laissez Faire ecomonics. Bush hs trunpeted this for 8 years.
    What really brought the house of cars tumbling down in 1929 was the whole concept of poorly regulated buying stocks abd securities on margin. In other words buying stocks at a fraction of their real market vakue in the hope that they would go up anf one could actually pay for them with the profit.
    What happened during the Bush years is very similar. Buying Real Estate on Margin and then trying to live off of Home equity loans because your income dropped or you were layed off due to outsourcing which the Bush administration and the Republicans including John McCain have championed with great zeal. In other words 'Free Trade' instead of 'Fair Trade'. When home prices began to tumble those equity loans were worthless since there was no equity left and people could then only not afford to pay for them but also not pay the base loan itself. It is often now a better strategy for some to just abandon the property since it is not worth the value of the loan and default on the loan itself.
    The regulations in place were not stringently enforced by the Republicans and/or growing economic concerns were just plain ignored with those wonderful champions of Hooverian Economics thinking the markets would just automatically adjust themselves. What they left out of the equations was Fat Cat Greed at every level.
    You must remember G W Bush's boasting of more Americans owning homes than ever before in the last election. Well now there are more American than ever in foreclosure ! Well that boast was and is being paid for by many of those same hard working middle class Americans that actually voted for him back then and are now in low paying jobs or without pay at all.
    How in God's name can anyone really believe that John McCain while expousing the same Bush/Hoover/Republican philosphy can actually do a better job the next time around

    September 15, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  13. keith

    What has the democratic controlled congress accomplished in the past two years?

    Why is the guy that wrote the tax code think that he doesn't have to pay taxes?

    September 15, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  14. Lauren, Northern California

    People keep saying that the Democrats control Congress. Yes, that's true now, but the GOP has controlled it from 1994 through 2006. The Democrats just barely have a majority and haven't been able to do much with that control thanks to Bush.

    He vetos almost everything and the Dems can't overturn his vetos.
    I hope this year that the GOPs lose big time, including the presidency, and the Dems can really get things done. I can't stand the thought of another 4 years of the same with McCain.

    People need to start looking at the issues and forget about the personalities. This is a very serious time in our country and we need a big change. Give Obama/Biden a chance to really do things for us middle class and poor people instead of Big Corporations.

    Stop bailing out big business and help us. Without our being able to afford to buy things and go out to dinner occasionally, big business and little business owners will be hurting. They forget that we are the people they rely on for their profits.

    September 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  15. GF, Los Angeles

    @ Cindy you're contradicting yourself. In the first paragraph you state that it's the employees and not the companies donating so what's the big deal. In the next paragraph you're calling Obama a liar because he gets moneyi from big businesses and that he gets more money from those Wall Street types then McCain. Obama is getting money from individuals and NOT companies from Wall Street so that does not make him a liar. You're so quick to put Obama down you're not even reading your own posts to see if they even make sense.

    September 15, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  16. Akili-Atlanta,GA

    As long as the contributions remain transparent I don't see what this has to do with the candidates policies. What people need to remember is that McCain wants to KEEP the bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. McCain says this will encourage businesses & wealthy to generously invest & create jobs...well how long ago did Bush give them these cuts? Where's the generous wealthy now? McCain cannot forecast how many cooperate giants will fail. Allowing the wealthy to pay less taxes, will not suddenly make them more willing to invest. They will keep the extra cash because any investment will seem too risky during these hard times. Middle Class America: McCain is just not into you!

    September 15, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  17. Trish A

    It truly amuses and amazes me that Republican Supporters are blaming Democrats for the the current Wall Street Disaster!!!! McCain Supporters must know that the Republican Spending to the tune of Trillions of American Dollars is what put these two major banking institutions on the rocks! The Home Mortgages flattened both of them!
    Republicans were at the wheel not the Dems! And every time the Dems stonewalled another of Bush's Inane Bills he took out his VETO PEN! So let's put the blame squarely where it belongs on the Republican War and Oil Machine! And I those who are supporting John McCain are ready for more of the same as that's exactly what you'll be getting. The walls that fell will erode and decay under a McCain Leadership! But strangely it seems Repub Supporters think McCain a Bush Clone with the same Zest and Love for more War will actually repair the damages! If it wasn't so sad it might be funny!

    September 15, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  18. Rob

    How can McCain go on record and say that the "Fundamentals of the economy are strong." The country is in the worst economic crisis since the depression. Yet the polls are close. Why is this? Why are people unwilling to try a different strategy? McCain and Palin keep saying that Obama will raise taxes. Yes, Obama's plan will raise taxes for those making over $250,000 per year. McCain's plan will give tax breaks to those making over $250,000 per year. Is everyone in this country making $250,000 per year except for me? I think the media needs to call this for what it is. Rural and middle America would rather have four more years with the White status quo than have a Black man in president. Why else would they want to continue with this. I can understand why the Wall Street guys would want McCain...bigger tax cuts.

    September 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  19. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT


    Since the far-right is out tonight, let's remind you GOP-lovers, that the GOP controlled Congress from 1994 through 2006!

    That thanks to Bush/Cheney/McCain our Nation is in a financial crisis.... not only because of the mess on Wall Street but due to the staggering National debt of nearly..........$10 TRILLION...........!

    Why don't you GOP-lovers, explain, Bush's legacy of DEBT, WAR, and FAILURES?

    September 15, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  20. Tyrone


    Another four years of Bush policy if McCain gets near the White House! It is impossible to believe that anyone living in these times. Seeing the destruction done by Bush and McCain and the Republican Party. Would think that McCain who voted 93% of the times with and for President Bush policy. Could change anything! Then to bring Gov. Palin into the game who is under investigation for abuse of power. That is what the country is dealing with. President Bush and the Republican Party abuse the power of the office of the President! As a result 4,199 American troops are dead needlessly in Iraq! Somebody must answer for those death. Not rewarded with the office of the President! Also anyone that said that "AMERICA HAS NOT BEEN ATTACK AFTER 9/11" There has been over 12 attempts after 9/11. And who the hell are the 4,199? All President Bush did was ad to the number of death after 9/11. The country's finance are in the worse condition in 45 years under President Bush and McCain's policy. How can McCain even asked to be President? Knowing that in 27 years he has done nothing that he or any republican can site. If McCain gets in the White House. We all deserve what we get!

    September 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  21. keith

    Obama will just nationalize everything and government will grow, everyone will be guaranteed employment working for the government; just read up on the obama-model: Public Allies.

    Rep. Charlie Rangel; he should be tossed out of congress and into jail.

    Joe Biden, 36 years in the senate; has he ever had a real job?Talk about the need for term limits.

    September 15, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  22. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    What I find strange about this is how is it known what employees donated to whom? I work for a school system. What charities or campaigns I donate to on my own time are private matters. My employer doesn't need to know and doesn't ask. Furthermore, I don't tell. The fact that these astronomical numbers are coming from employees of these firms (and that info is public) tells me that the company may have influenced the giving. Just throwing it out there. Something you all might want to check out (or report if known). I smell a corporate rat influencing presidential candidates on both sides of the fence. Good ol' DC politics in play once again (so much for change with either candidate).

    September 15, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  23. Brenda Harris

    Same place the Rebpublican President has been. Keith
    If the President can't run things.
    How can anyone vote for 4 more years.

    September 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  24. Heather

    I find the comments made by both Obama and McCain about what has happened on Wall Street to be completely and totally rediculous. The fact is Pres Clinton and the then Republican congress negotiated the deregulation of financial institutions in 1999. Pres Bush had nothing to do with that. Pres Bush is only guilty of saying publically that he wanted more people to be able to own homes. Mr Greenspan is completely at fault for all of this by encouraging financial institutions to create mortgage products to allow for flexibility in home ownership. He publicly encouraged these types of mortgage products along with record low interest rates after 9/11. All anyone cared about was making money off these deals that should have never been made. But when you are focused on making money you dont care about anything else. Pres Bush is not responsible for this nor is the Dem congress or the Rep congress before them. Its Pres Clinton and Greenspan. They have created one of the biggest financial disasters in the history of the country not mention the fact that you cant have something from nothing. You can give a mortgage to someone who doesnt qualify. Greed and deregulation have destroyed a company that has been in existance for over 150 years. This thing is far from over. There were alot of greedy people not thinking about the old saying it seems to good to be true it probably is. Obama is not change he is just the same old thing. McCain is McCain not Bush. People need to know the truth and Obama and McCain are not going to tell it when it comes to this.

    September 15, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  25. Surafel Melaku

    I don't non of them will benefit, they just blame the Bush administration, how the economy is weak and such but they don't have any solution either! lol. When it comes down to facing how we better the economy both of them are not ready.

    September 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  26. keith

    Where has the democrat-controlled congress during all of this?

    September 15, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  27. Cindy

    So, what has this got to do with anything? The employees of these companies gave to the candidates on their own. It didn't come from the company itself. What's the big deal?

    But I do think it's funny that Obama says he doesn't get money from big businesses yet here we are proving once again that he is a liar. He gets more money from the Wall Street types than McCain. But yep...he is a new type of politician for sure! LOL

    One thing is for sure...these employees should have kept there money seeing they may be out of a job soon.


    September 15, 2008 at 5:48 pm |