BANKING IT

Campaign donations show the US financial sector lining up behind Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush

Despite all the rhetoric against Wall Street by US presidential candidates, campaign contributions to the 2016 election frontrunners are pouring in from America’s largest banks.

By and large, Wall Street so far appears to be betting on a 2016 presidential race that pits former Florida governor Jeb Bush against former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, based on tallies of fundraising reports as of July 15 that revealed plenty of money from bank employees and financiers.

Among employees at America’s six largest banks, Clinton has the fundraising lead, attracting 50% more in donations from bank employees than Bush. Even employees from Barclays, one of Bush’s former employers, gave more to Clinton.

The exception was at Goldman Sachs, Bush’s largest supporter by employer. The bank’s employees sunk $145,000 into Bush’s campaign, nearly three times more than they gave Clinton.

Financial reform and income inequality already have emerged as key issues on the campaign trail, where voters want to hear how candidates plan to turbocharge the US economy, and the middle class in particular.

Bush has been touting a plan to achieve 4% economic growth (partially by getting Americans to work harder), while Clinton last week outlined plans to push for higher wages and more women in the workforce. She also attacked stock buybacks, hedge funds, and high-frequency traders, promising to go after individuals for financial crimes.

While giving money to people who attack your industry seems a bit odd, both candidates have strong ties to Wall Street. More importantly, there’s no better way to curry favor with presidential hopefuls than to pay for it.

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