The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a civil lawsuit against financial giant Goldman Sachs and one of its vice presidents, alleging the company defrauded investors by “misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter.”
By doing so, the government has set its sights on one of the largest wielders of political clout, which has denied any wrongdoing in this case.
People and political action committees associated with Goldman Sachs contributed about $6 million to federal candidates and parties during the 2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ research, with about three-fourths of that sum supporting Democrats. These investments, along with about half-a-million dollars to state-level candidates, rank the firm as the 47th largest political contributor for the cycle.
Employees of Goldman Sachs contributed nearly $1 million to the $750-million-strong presidential campaign war chest of Barack Obama — making him the top federal recipient of money from Goldman Sachs during the 2008 election cycle and making employees of the company his largest private sector financial backer.
So far this election cycle, Goldman Sachs’ PACs and employees have contributed $693,675 to federal candidates and parties, with about 70 percent of that total supporting Democrats, the Center has found.
Additionally, a number of high-ranking government officials in recent years have spent part of their careers at Goldman Sachs. It is one of the top organizations to see employees pass through the so-called revolving door between the public and private sectors. By the Center’s count, at least 22 current or former Goldman Sachs employees have been through the revolving door (earning them profiles in the OpenSecrets.org Revolving Door database).
These revolvers include one of President George W. Bush’s secretaries of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, who was the chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, and one of President Bill Clinton’s secretaries of the Treasury, Robert Rubin, who was a co-chairman of Goldman Sachs.
The lawsuit comes at a time when Congress is working to pass legislation designed to reform the U.S. financial system and add new layers of oversight and consumer protection. The House adopted its version of financial reform in December, and the Senate Banking Committee moved a bill by Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to the Senate floor last month.
President Barack Obama has also threatened to veto any financial regulatory reform bill that does not include strong regulation of derivatives, the financial products through which investors often made risky bets — like those detailed in the SEC lawsuit.
Source Open Secrets
Oh those OpenSecrets. Barack Obama took nearly 1 Million Dollars from Goldman Sachs. Guess anyone who gives that kind of money gets a bail out. The post Partisan non special interest president has found himself in quite a pickle as he tries to make Wall Street the problem for all of America’s ills… oh Besides Former President George W. Bush. To be fair, Bush took Just about 400,000 dollars while President.
So while Obama makes Wall Street the bad guy, we figured a table of contributions is appropriate here.
This table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2008 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Because of contribution limits, organizations that bundle together many individual contributions are often among the top donors to presidential candidates. These contributions can come from the organization’s members or employees (and their families). The organization may support one candidate, or hedge its bets by supporting multiple candidates. Groups with national networks of donors – like EMILY’s List and Club for Growth – make for particularly big bundlers.
University of California $1,591,395 Goldman Sachs $994,795 Harvard University $854,747 Microsoft Corp $833,617 Google Inc $803,436 Citigroup Inc $701,290 JPMorgan Chase & Co $695,132 Time Warner $590,084 Sidley Austin LLP $588,598 Stanford University $586,557 National Amusements Inc $551,683 UBS AG $543,219 Wilmerhale Llp $542,618 Skadden, Arps et al $530,839 IBM Corp $528,822 Columbia University $528,302 Morgan Stanley $514,881 General Electric $499,130 US Government $494,820 Latham & Watkins $493,835
Coded $284,930,288 (73%) Uncoded $103,353,467 (27%) Total $388,283,755