September 15th, 2008
10:31 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama, McCain big beneficiaries of Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Firms in the battered financial sector have been big backers of the candidates."](CNN) - 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. The Illinois senator has raised approximately $370,000 from Lehman employees this year, more than three times what McCain has raised from employees of the failing firm.

Both McCain and Obama sharply criticized Wall Street practices Monday morning, and are calling for more regulation in the investment industry.

soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Deborah, WI

    McAint will continue the policies of Geoge W. Bush. Failed policies that never had a chance. Now he's just coasting downhill, until he can really play golf with his buddies.

    "Poor George, he can't help it, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth." Ann Richards said that long ago, and like father, like son.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Chickens coming home to roost

    I suppose it is okay for Obama but wrong for anyone else- just like every other issue.

    Obama lied about McCain being for a "100 yr war".

    Obama lied about Palin claiming she "sold the jet on ebay"- she never said that. She said she PUT it on ebay. Obviously with the intention to SELL the jet- which was the REAL point. Many know that ebay isn't a sure sell. So after 3 tries, Palin was forced to sell it at a loss.

    Obama lied about Palin not being experienced and qualified- when she is EVERY BIT AS INEXPERIENCED AND AS UNQUALIFIED AS HE IS. Well... maybe no one in politics is as unqualified as the candidate democrats selected and installed as nominee.

    September 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Thomas

    "Both Barack Obama and John McCain have strongly benefited from Wall Street this election cycle,"

    This is so misleading. Further down in the article it states that employees of these companies have donated money to both canidates. Employees... those would be individuals. Just like you and I.

    There is a big difference between individuals choosing to support a canidate and a business choosing to support a canidate.

    I would not even say this was a nice try at building a non-news event. It was a lously try.

    My how CNN has changed and not for the better. 🙁

    September 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Jeff Priest


    Are we really supposed to take a politician's word? Why is it that Americans can't see beyond the eye make-up and blush and look for real policy solutions.

    Juts take my word for is not , in my opinion, an appropriate political solution

    September 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. ED FL

    Who would want to use the worst most disgraceful biased lying network like CNN for anything that might need to emit any part of the truth. Hopefully advertisers will see you for what you are , a bunch of right wing war mongers like the ones you support.

    September 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. To Travis

    Finally! I was wondering if anybody else feels the same way. We need to vote for our the future, not for party politics! Niether of these men will be good for our country. We as Americans deserve better!

    September 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Pat F

    Big surprise.

    Here are the four top recipients of Fannie/Freddie $:

    1. Chris Dodd
    2. John Kerry
    3. Joe Biden

    September 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. concern


    September 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Billb

    Basically it comes down to this: would higher tax or lower tax on business help or hurt the already fragile economy. It's not too complicated people. How dumb do you have to be to see which plan is better?

    September 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Dexter in Houston TX

    Am i missing something here, why do we care how the "employees" of these firms spend their money? Unless I have read this article incorrectly this isn't news? These are people who happen to work for Wall Street making donations from their personal accounts...right?

    September 15, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Anna

    Another financial institution went bankrupt. I hope that American voters will vote wisely. No wonder China is laughing at us and of course Canadians love shopping in the US for bargains.

    September 15, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. alvino

    John McCain will bring out his "magic line item veto pen" and all that is bad will go away.

    September 15, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Loretta

    Stronger is exactly what I have been asking for. Our leaders need to keep our corporations honest, because sadly, they will not do it on their own.

    September 15, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. inuk of the north

    Have you heard? McCain's leading.

    Have you seen? Electoral votes swinging to McCain.

    Can you believe? Wall Street gave more to Obama.

    Can you compare? Lipstick Palin and Dipstick Biden

    Does it hurt?

    September 15, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. J J

    "HE has knowledge of the economy, and he had plans to stop such a desaster that hit Lehman Brothers "

    Then why has he not done anything in the Senate to institute his plan.

    September 15, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Nom Deplume


    Economics isn't about math.

    If your idea of economics is that the president is responsible for the business cycle, well, maybe you shouldn't be voting. And I sure as heck hope you aren't breeding.

    September 15, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Jim Noble

    This article is extremely misleading. The donations mentioned are from the employees of these companies. Employees of these companies are donating money to the candidate that they hope will help them keep their job. With the financial turmoil on Wall St. these days, the employees of the big financial firms have just as much fear for their jobs as the auto workers in Detroit.

    September 15, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Nom Deplume

    Cindy from Texas:

    Apparently so.

    September 15, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Nobama

    I have contacted most of former Hillary supporters I knew in my community asking if they will vote for Obama in November, guess what? NONE OF THEM WILL VOTE FOR OBAMA!

    September 15, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. irony

    mccain went against his party. Obama went against mccain's party, too. What's the point mccain. You both went against the republican's of your party.

    September 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Cindy, Texas

    McCain does not even understand the economic jargons written down for him in his speaches. He could barely pronounce them!

    America will suprise the whole world if we elect McCain after bush. Do we take pride in illitracy?

    September 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Raymond Duke

    Of course they are that is what happens when lobbyist and business and bankers control politicians. John McCain has his backers and Obama had others one which is Lehman Brothers who stole all they can and had thieves as managers and now are going to file for bankruptcy with their CEO getting 20 million dollars. I was watching Biden in Michigan stumping blaming all of Michigan's failures on McCain. Maybe he ought to mention all the Democrats that have been in the House and senate from Michigan for years. What have they done for Michigan. People in Michigan keep looking to Canada saying well their Unions are surviving but what they need to look at is the Canadian dollar does not equal the american dollar and the major factor is they have socialized medicine . Health care cost is what destroyed american businesses and unions have not helped by demanding the moon and not doing nothing but drawing dues. In bad times when you are facing Global cheap labor everybody has to make concessions.

    September 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Reginald in VA

    The above comments have a flawed common analysis. There is a BIG difference in receiving contributions from EMPLOYEES vs. the COMPANIES themselves. A compnay will presue the interest of it's stakeholders and it's longevity, the employee is concerned with their personal views and interest. Just to show I'm not a blind proponet; many labor unions suport Obama, however I know many members of the union may not support Obama. When a company donates, they may be considered a lobbyist/special interest entity, however a single person is a constituent. Please place logic over emotions.

    September 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Sage

    John McCainis a town hall this morning he blamed his lies on Obama not doing town halls with he joking? the sheer arrogance, Obama is supposed to do a town hall because McCain says so? Get a life McCain.....he had to ask Cindy Lou how many more days to the election. he is so OUT OF TOUCH!!!! go back to Arizona

    September 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. s

    With all of the failing companies, foreclosures, and lost jobs why is anyone contemplating voting for McCain. The GOP policies will not change, and McCain is their puppet. I realized McCain was a puppet when he ran against Bush for the nomination in 2000. McCain took a stance on the Flag issue in SC, and it made the good ole boys mad, so he retracted his statement to fall in line with the good ole boys of the South. Where was the maverick then? Where was the honorable man who is going to stand up against the good ole boys in Washington? Like many politicians he does what he has to win, that is why he chose Palin (the trojan horse).

    September 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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