Crony Confab: Valerie Jarrett Meets with Top Hedge Fund Execs
If you can’t beat them, buy them.
That has been the Obama Administration’s cronyism strategy with corporate America, showering bailouts, government grants, and other crony perks along the way. Employ Occupy Wall Street rhetoric publicly, but cut corporations into big government and alliances privately.
So on Thursday, President Barack Obama’s right hand senior adviser Valerie Jarrett met privately with top executives of leading financial services firms like Bank of America, Blackstone Group, JP Morgan—companies whose employees overwhelming donated to Governor Mitt Romney but have previously supported and partnered with Mr. Obama.
In the 2012 presidential election, for example, Bank of America employees donated $909,039 to Governor Mitt Romney versus $238,735 to President Barack Obama. But in September of this year, the Obama for America campaign took out a $15 million loan from Bank of America and joined Wells Fargo in contributing $20 million to cover the cost of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Likewise, Blackstone Group gave $359,225 to Mr. Romney versus $142,381 to Mr. Obama. Still, in May the President of Blackstone Group Hamilton James hosted a $35,800 a ticket fundraising dinner for Mr. Obama.
JP Morgan donated $785,396 to Mr. Romney versus $268,460 to Mr. Obama. But Mr. Obama, who has personal investments between $500,000 to $1 million with JP Morgan (politicians report investments in ranges, not totals), has called JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon “one of the smartest bankers we got.” What’s more, Mr. Obama tapped former JP Morgan executive William Daley as his former chief of staff. The big bank also makes over half a billion administering EBT cards for nearly half the nation’s food stamp program, which has exploded during Mr. Obama’s first term.
Earlier this month, Ms. Jarrett met with Goldman Sachs executives. Mr. Romney received $990,639 from Goldman Sachs, whereas Mr. Obama only received $186,925 from the big bank. But in 2008, Goldman Sachs was one of Mr. Obama’s biggest supporters, donating over $1 million to his campaign.
The Obama Administration would have voters believe it is reaching out to these corporate interests in a spirit of conciliation and comprise. In reality, such meetings are merely crony confabs, gatherings where alliances are bought and government goodies promised.