Obama or McCain: Who Do Bankers Back?

by Derek Loosvelt | September 12, 2008

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While Lehman Brothers investors and employees anxiously await to find out which firm (if any) will buy the 158-year-old investment bank, the Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls continue to fight it out over the airwaves and Internet, burning through a lot of Wall Street money in the process.

A recent Center for Responsive Politics study of 2007 and 2008 campaign donations found that, of all security firms and investment banks, Goldman Sachs was the largest campaign contributor, followed by Morgan Stanley, UBS, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

Though the top five might not surprise you—these are also some of the largest banks by revenue—where the majority of the contributions are going just might.

Of the $4.3 million that’s come out of Goldman employees pockets, 74 percent has gone to the Democratic Party versus 26 percent to the Republicans. Morgan Stanley insiders also favor the Democrats ($2.7 million split 60/40), as do UBS employees ($2.3 million; 56/44) and Lehman bankers ($1.9 million; 64/36). Merrill insiders, however, have given more green to the red party than blue, with 53 percent of their $1.8 million in contributions going to the Republicans and 47 percent to the Democrats.

Filed Under: Finance

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