Government Spending

Meet the Backers: Bankers Flip-Flop to Romney

The financial sector primarily backed Romney in 2012 after having supported Obama in 2008.

It looks like Romney may have inherited Obama’s pocket liners. Take a look at Obama’s 2008 campaign contributors and Romney’s 2012 contributors and a disturbing trend emerges: the financial sector, the very sector that borrowed and is still paying the U.S. back billions in TARP benefits, has scooted over to Romney after having supported Obama four years ago. TARP What is TARP? TARP is the controversial Wall Street bailout program first put into place by President Bush in 2008. The program was made because banks knowingly provided risky subprime mortgages, which borrowers were oftentimes unable to pay back. There was speculation that the entire U.S. financial system was in jeopardy as a result (whether or not this was the case, however, is a matter of debate). Cost of TARP program In any case, the U.S. government bought into many of the large banks that were struggling at the time, including AIG, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. Romney has publicly endorsed the TARP program on numerous occasions, and Obama saw it through in his first term. TARP was risky, but in the end most of its participants bought back their assets. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program will ultimately cost the U.S. $32 billion.     Campaign Contributions Interestingly, many of the companies that benefited from TARP made donations to the Obama campaign in 2008, despite the dire straits of their finances. Now, these banks have flip-flopped to greener pastures for the 2012 election. See the chart below:

Company TARP Bailout $ Obama Campaign 2008 Romney Campaign 2012
Goldman Sachs $10 billion $1,013,091 $994,139
JPMorgan Chase $25 billion $808,799 $792,147
Citigroup $45 billion $736,771 $465,063
Morgan Stanley $45 billion $512,232 $827,255