Meet the Wall Street titans who back Trump
A small cadre of Donald Trump’s richest and most prominent Wall Street backers gathered at a high-dollar Manhattan fundraiser Tuesday night in an attempt to shore up the presumptive Republican nominee’s near-broke campaign.
Tickets for the event, held at Le Cirque, were $50,000 each. About 60 people took the plunge, according to Bloomberg. The named co-hosts, including hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson, coughed up $250,000 per couple. Even with those astronomical donations, the fundraiser’s total haul — estimated at between $5 million and $7 million — will only modestly improve the Trump campaign’s bleak financial situation. As of the beginning of the month, Trump had only $1.3 million in cash on hand, compared to $41 million for Clinton, based on reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
The bigger gift among Paulson and his fellow hosts might have been attaching their names to the event in the face of a generally souring view of Trump — too erratic, too offensive — among the top ranks on Wall Street. At least in the case of Paulson, there may have been a business motive for supporting Trump: As of last July, the presumptive GOP nominee was an investor in Paulson’s funds at a time when others were fleeing because of poor performance. But whatever his reason, the hedge-fund titan is now officially part of the small band of financiers publicly throwing their support behind Trump — others include investors Carl Icahn and Wilbur Ross, Cerberus’s Stephen Feinberg, hedge-funders Robert Mercer and Anthony Scaramucci, and former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin — even as many of their peers question whether doing so will prove to be reputational poison.
The list of prominent hedge-funders who say they won’t vote for Trump is growing. It now includes former Romney supporter Dan Loeb of Third Point, according to people familiar with his thinking. Loeb now shares that position with two buddies from the Manhattan Institute, Paul Singer of Elliott Management and Cliff Asness of AQR Asset Management — both lead funders of the #NeverTrump movement. Ray Dalio, who heads the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, also seems to be anti-Trump: At a recent event held by the David Lynch Foundation for Transcendental Meditation, trascendental-meditation devotee Dalio called the putative GOP nominee an “imbecile,” according to one person in attendance.
Even Paulson, who donated $1.2 million to Mitt Romney in 2012 and most recently supported Scott Walker’s bid to be the 2016 Republican nominee, had to rationalize Trump’s flaws. “He discounts all the crazy stuff,” says one knowledgeable person, explaining the billionaire’s support of Trump.
In a presidential election as polarized as this one, Wall Street has played a peculiar role. Clinton was castigated because of her ties to the finance industry by the left, which sees President Obama as having been much too soft on the big banks. After all, no one went to jail for the financial crisis, and the average citizen is still struggling to recover. Wall Street has nonetheless felt burned by the Democrats over such issues as the Dodd-Frank financial reform that forced the banks to unwind their prop trading desks and boost their capital. The top banking executives, such as JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein, are both Democrats who’ve endorsed Republicans in recent years but have also been somewhat friendly to Clinton. They certainly aren’t likely to back Trump, and JPMorgan has underscored that by refusing to sponsor the Republican National Convention. It would be too hard to explain to their investors, employees, and international business partners why they’re supporting a candidate whose authoritarian tendencies have led a major corporate executive to call him a fascist.
That’s why the financiers offering to bankroll Trump tend to be a different breed. Most of them run their own show, and some, as in the case of 80-year-old Carl Icahn, who’s been a Trump supporter since day one, have had business dealings with the real-estate mogul. Icahn, for instance, bested Trump in a bankruptcy battle over Trump’s failed New Jersey casino, Trump Taj Mahal. Icahn bought the casino debt in what became one of Trump’s many bankruptcies and, after years of wrangling, emergedthe owner.
Icahn doesn’t have to worry about what investors think of his presidential pick. After losing money in 2007 and 2008, he bought out the investors in his hedge fund and now only manages his own fortune, estimated byForbes at $16.8 billion after losing almost $7 billion over the past few years, most of it on bad energy bets. Shares in his publicly traded holding company, Icahn Enterprises, have fallen more than 60 percent since its peak in December of 2013.
thanks to rev17 for the link..
nobody is elected..they are selected..
“That’s why the financiers offering to bankroll Trump tend to be a different breed. Most of them run their own show, and some, as in the case of 80-year-old Carl Icahn, who’s been a Trump supporter since day one”