Blackstone boss leads Wall Street charge for Trump

Stephen Schwarzman contributed the lion’s share of donations from the financial industry

National /
Aug.August 07, 2020 01:00 PM
President Donald Trump and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman (Trump by Scott Olson/Getty Images; Schwarzman by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman (Trump by Scott Olson/Getty Images; Schwarzman by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)

When others zig, Blackstone boss Stephen Schwarzman zags.

Wall Street has largely abandoned efforts to fill President Trump’s campaign coffers, but support from Schwarzman, who helms New York-based investment firm Blackstone, has filled the gap, Bloomberg reported. Schwarzman gave $3.7 million to Trump in 2020, the lion’s share of the total $3.8 million from the financial services sector. Without that contribution, donations from the financial industry’s most prominent banks would have been down 69 percent from the previous election cycle, according to Bloomberg.

The picture was very different in 2016, when Robert Mercer, CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, along with his wife Diana Mercer, donated $2 million to elect Trump. Donations from Renaissance Technologies totaled just $365,000 in the current election cycle.

Overall, Wall Street tends to vote Republican with its pocketbook, and it has flourished under the Trump administration. A hefty check from Schwarzman in 2017 preceded a federal tax break, enacted a week later, that made it more profitable for the firm to go public.

Although Wall Street typically favors conservatives, donations have instead flowed to the other side of the aisle this year. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has raised five times as much as Trump from the securities and investment sector.

Even within Blackstone, there is some support for Trump’s challenger. Blackstone President and COO Jonathan Gray recently hosted a fundraiser for Biden, where the Democratic candidate proposed funding healthcare for children and elderly by taxing the wealthy. [Bloomberg] — Georgia Kromrei 


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