Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has the support of Jamie Dimon, now widely viewed as one of the most important bankers on Wall Street, and he's raised three times more money from top executives at Goldman Sachs than John McCain. Lehman CEO Dick Fuld is keeps a copy of Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" on his desk. Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, a longtime Republican stalwart, is likely to endorse Obama.
In today's New York Post, Charlie Gasparino tries to figure out why Wall Street has gone gaga for Obama.
While some of Obama's policy proposals, such a having the government pick-up the health care tab for corporate America, will help stock prices many, including a hefty hike in capital gains taxes and income taxes, would seem to be toxic to Wall Street.
Is it just noblesse oblige? Have the masters of the universe simply decided to start sacrificing for the good of the country?
Perhaps but Gasparino thinks something more sinister could be at work. These senior executives may not feel the pain of Obama's tax hikes because the high-rolling days of Wall Street are over for the foreseeable future. What's more, they are already rich and Obama isn't threatening to touch the wealth they accumulated during the boom.
"At bottom, Obama is about taxing wealth creation - not the piles of cash these guys have already accumulated," Gasparino writes.
There's a generational aspect to this. While the senior executives on Wall Street might not have much to lose from higher taxes, junior Wall Streeters may well feel the sting of higher taxes. In short, supporting Obama is another way for the bosses to screw the worker bees on compensation.
Wall St's Death Wish [New York Post]