2012 presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney this week defended JP Morgan Chase’s $3 billion trading debacle as just “the way America works.” He denied that the episode makes the case for stronger regulations to rein in banks’ risky trading.
Overall, of course, Romney has shown little interest in diagnosing or addressing the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, and the role of the nation’s biggest banks in nearly sinking the global economy. And the banks surely appreciate it, considering that employees of the biggest financial firms are his top donors, as the Boston Globe noted today:
When the head of JPMorgan Chase met with shareholders to answer for a trading loss of more than $2 billion Tuesday, it was against an evolving political backdrop: Donors from big banks are betting on Mitt Romney to defeat President Obama and repeal new restraints on risky, large-scale investments. [...]
The top five donor groups in Romney’s campaign are individuals and political action committees associated with large financial institutions, led by Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, according to information compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks campaign donations.
The Globe actually got it a bit wrong: the top six donors to Romney come from the biggest banks — Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. And the finance/insurance/real estate industry is far and away the largest donor to Romney’s campaign, giving him $18 million. Of course, banks also throw money at the Democrats, but in this cycle, they’ve clearly favored the GOP.
Romney is surely not the only Republican lawmaker getting JP Morgan’s back, as House Financial Services Committee Spencer Bachus (R-Al) also defended the bank. Bachus, though, is also bankrolled by the financial industry.