[Cross-posted on Blue Mass Group.]
Back in March, Goldman Sachs' executive director, Greg Smith, left the firm, noting a toxic culture in which Goldman Sachs' staff callously talked about "ripping their clients off" as the goal of their work. With Goldman Sachs receiving additional scrutiny, it seemed an appropriate time to ask "Who's Winning the Goldman Sachs Primary" in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.
The finding was that Republican Scott Brown was "winning" the Goldman Sachs primary in a landslide - referring to the amount of money taken in from Goldman Sachs' PAC and personnel in political contributions - by a margin of $55,550 for Brown to $0 for Democrat Elizabeth Warren. (Brown's haul from Goldman Sachs has since grown to $73,900 as a federal candidate.)
Just as Goldman Sachs came under fresh scrutiny in March, in recent days, JPMorgan Chase has come under fresh scrutiny following news that it lost at least $2 Billion (a figure that could soon become $3 Billion or higher) on risky investments. Immediately, urgent calls were made to restore key Wall Street and banking regulations that have been gutted over the last decade and a half.
Additionally, it seems like the appropriate time to ask, as it relates to the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race:
Who's winning the JPMorgan Chase Primary?
The chart below looks at contributions received to date by the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, and his most likely Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, from JPMorgan Chase's political action committee, executives, staff, and lobbyists.
Once again, it must be pointed out that, no, there is not a bar missing from this bar chart. To date, Republican Scott Brown has received $54,155 from JPMorgan Chase's PAC, executives, staff, and lobbyists, while Democrat Elizabeth Warren has received $0.
It is not at all surprising that JPMorgan Chase would flood Republican Scott Brown's campaign coffers with contributions, as Goldman Sachs and numerous other Wall Street firms have. Brown has worked diligently on Wall Street's behalf to water down regulations on Wall Street investment houses, financial services firms, and big banks:
After private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and other top Democrats, Brown scored a series of exemptions from the "Volcker rule" -- which would bar certain forms of proprietary trading -- a provision pushed by big Massachusetts banks and financial firms, including State Street Corp. and Mass Mutual.
Meanwhile, as Brown was operating in closed-door meetings and securing those backroom deals to benefit Wall Street, those banks and investment firms (coincidentally, of course) contributed heavily to Brown:
Campaign contributions to Senator Scott Brown from the financial industry spiked sharply during a critical three-week period last summer as the fate of the Wall Street regulatory overhaul hung in the balance and Brown used the leverage of his swing vote to win key concessions sought by firms.
From mid-June until the Fourth of July, according to a Globe analysis of his campaign finance reports, the Massachusetts senator took in $140,000 from banks and investment firms and their executives, including companies based in the state, such as MassMutual and State Street Corp. That is 400 percent more than the $28,000 received on average by all Republican senators during the same three weeks.
As the money poured in, Brown and his Senate staff were working both publicly and behind the scenes to scuttle $19 billion in fees on the financial industry that would have paid for part of the regulatory overhaul, and to weaken a provision intended to curb certain types of investment activities by banks and insurance companies.
It's a surprise to no one that Republican Scott Brown has been dubbed one of Wall Street's favorite Senators. Brown won the Goldman Sachs primary in a landslide, and he's similarly winning the JPMorgan Chase primary in a landslide. Further, Brown refuses to return any of the JPMorgan Chase contributions, severely undermining Brown's claims of being an "independent" voice.