Hedge fund managers who raised tons of cash for President Obama in 2008 are abandoning him after two years of insults from the White House, The Wall Street Journal reports, with one financier comparing Obama to an abusive spouse in an email that was forwarded around Wall Street earlier this year. People who worked for hedge funds made most of their donations to Republicans during the midterms--which hasn't happened since 1996.
"I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the president will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words... I mean, he really loves us and when he beats us, he doesn't mean it," wrote Third Point LLC founder Daniel Loeb in his email. It captured the resentment hedge fund managers feel watching Democrats use populist rhetoric to win support for tax hikes on the very wealthy. Having contributed so generously to Democrats as they won and then grew their majorities in Congress in 2006 and 2008, the financiers had hoped they'd be spared such attacks. Other major hedge funds that have switched sides include Steven Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors and Kenneth Griffin's Citadel Investment Group.
After lawyers, Wall Street was the biggest source of campaign cash for Obama in 2008. The president aims to raise $1 billion for his reelection bid, but the loss of support from the investment industry--combined with declining enthusiasm in Hollywood--could make that goal much more difficult.