Hedge fund owners and employees have so far this election cycle contributed nearly $48.5 million for Hillary Clinton, compared to about $19,000 for Donald Trump, an indication that Wall Street is clearly backing the Democratic presidential nominee.
The total amount of such campaign contributions in 2016 is $122.7 million, twice as much as in the 2012 election cycle, according to a recent federal report analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
With the Democratic and Republican parties’ conventions over Thursday and the general election officially just a few days old, it’s no surprise that pro-Clinton groups have received more hedge fund money.
For nearly six months, Clinton primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders railed against “big money” in politics and vowed to “reform” Wall Street, with an insurgent campaign that relied largely on small-dollar contributions.
“With a political campaign finance system that is corrupt and increasingly controlled by billionaires and special interests, I fear very much that … government … is beginning to perish in the United States of America,” Sanders said. “We cannot allow that to happen.”
Also Clinton, a former secretary of state and New York senator, has clear ties to Wall Street, with critics repeatedly pointing out that in recent years she has received $21 million in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms.
But Trump largely self-funded his primary campaign, in an attempt to show voters that he couldn’t be influenced by Washington or Wall Street money.
Also his vows to ends to what he considers unfair international trade deals appears to have sent Wall Street looking for another candidate, considering such deals have been largely profitable to U.S. investors.
“At the very least, Wall Street doesn’t like uncertainty,” one investment banker recently told FoxNews.com.
The $122.7 in contributions from hedge funds — essential a high-risk, high-yield investment tool for wealthy contributors — represents roughly 14 percent of total money donated from all sources so far this cycle, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.
The top five contributors to pro-Clinton groups are employees or owners of private investment funds, and seven financial firms alone have generated the nearly $48.5 million for groups working on Clinton’s behalf.
While Hedge fund owners and employees haven’t given a lot to Trump, they have so far given $65.8 million this cycle to other Republican groups — including some that backed Trump primary rivals.
Washington lobbyists, sensing a Clinton victory early in the cycle, have said they were instead putting their money behind GOP congressional candidates, in an effort to keep control of the House and Senate.