Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Barack Obama Campaign Contributions

I stumbled onto something today that I find very interesting. Take a look at Barack Obama's top campaign contributors. It just so happens that 6 of the top 20 are banks. 4 of those 6 received Federal bailouts and 3 of them (Citigroup, GE Capital, and UBS AG) are still clinging to life support. Not to mention that UBS AG isn't even an American company and they are using their money to influence American government. Goldman Sachs, Mr. Obama's 2nd place contributor, didn't even need a bailout. They easily could have survived the storm, however, they were the first to be paid when U.S. taxpayers saved AIG (American International Group).

Another part of this list I find interesting is the random law firms (Sidley Austin LLP, Wilmerhale LLP, and Skadden, Arps et al) that contributed to Barack Obama. What do these huge international law firms want to please our new president for? The only clue I have to answer this is what these law firms specialize in. Skadden is an expert in the Troubled Asset Releif Program (TARP), acquisition finance and corporate restructurings.

WilmerHale spells out their specialty right on their website, "Lawyers in WilmerHale’s Corporate Practice are renowned for their work in initial public offerings, venture capital, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, corporate governance matters and the representation of start-up companies. Clients look to WilmerHale’s Financial Institutions Practice for assistance with complex, challenging federal regulatory and legislative, litigation, enforcement, and business transaction matters that impact them as banks, card issuers, insurance companies, broker dealers, mortgage lenders, database operators, on-line firms and other financial services providers." Their list of clients includes GE Finance, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. All of these companies have been subject to corporate restructuring, more regulatory reform, or have participated in a merger and acquisition backed by taxpayer money.

Sidley Austin LLP fits right in with the group. "Sidley has a major capital markets practice and a broad transactional practice. Major practice disciplines include corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, securitization, intellectual property, funds and other pooled investments, bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, bank and commercial lending, public finance, real estate, project finance, tax and employee benefits, as well as trusts and estates."

Is it a coincidence that the banks who contributed to Barack Obama were bailed out or were the beneficiaries of easy acquisitions? Is it a coincidence that the law firms who contributed to Barack Obama were hired to oversee these acquisitions, help with corporate reorganization, adhearance to TARP, and the implementation of new regulatory reforms? You be the judge!!

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