Hedge funds are playing a far bigger role in 2016 than in past elections - and, as The Wall Street Journal reports, Hillary Clinton has been the single biggest beneficiary.
The lines around what constitutes a hedge fund aren’t always clear in the data, or in the financial industry. But the numbers are stark. The top five contributors to pro-Clinton groups are employees or owners of private investment funds, according to federal data released last week and compiled by OpenSecrets.org, the center’s website. The data show seven financial firms alone have generated nearly $48.5 million for groups working on Mrs. Clinton’s behalf.
The total for Donald Trump: About $19,000.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Mrs. Clinton’s big haul from hedge funds also reflects the topsy-turvy politics of this election. In the 2008 campaign, hedge funds contributed just $14 million to Democratic candidates and groups. And amid criticism that Mrs. Clinton has cultivated close ties with the finance industry, her campaign has emphasized her plan to confront Wall Street.
“Hillary Clinton has the toughest plan to reform Wall Street, clean up the abuses…and close the carried-interest [tax] loophole that benefits hedge funds,” a campaign spokesman said.
That said, to many on Wall Street, the Democrat in this election is the safer bet.
Still, some Wall Street donors are reconsidering. Cliff Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, contributed to Mr. Rubio. But he wrote in a RealClearPolitics blog post in March that he found it harder to dismiss Mr. Trump after the death of Mr. Asness’s father, who was a Trump supporter. “So I’m still #againsttrump, but with a bit more confusion, and a bit more willingness to listen than before,” he wrote.
Last month, hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson co-hosted a fundraiser for the Republican nominee at Manhattan’s Le Cirque restaurant, along with SkyBridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci and others. Mr. Paulson, whose Paulson & Co. manages about $13 billion, had earlier given to groups backing Republican hopefuls Mr. Bush and Scott Walker.
Mr. Scaramucci said hedge-fund managers were making a mistake by directing their political contributions to support Mrs. Clinton.
“The hedge-fund community has been wrong about a lot this year,” he said. “You can add this to the list.”
We leave it to Senator Snaders to conclude...
"Can you really reform Wall Street when they are spending millions and millions of dollars on campaign contributions, and when they are providing speaker fees to individuals?"
Indeed Bernie, but hey, none of that matters now that you have endorsed her, right? Hedge fund managers are well known for their glee in giving away money and expecting nothing in return.