Obama Pledging Not to Demonize Wall Street

President Barack Obama returns to New York on March 1 for his first campaign fundraiser with investment bankers and hedge fund managers since asking Congress in his 2013 budget to increase taxes on the wealthy.

The president’s hosts include Ralph Schlosstein, chief executive officer at Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR), and his wife, Jane Hartley, co-founder of the economic and political advisory firm Observatory Group LLC, who were assured last week by Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, that the president won’t demonize Wall Street in his re-election pursuit.

The $35,800-per-person dinner at ABC Kitchen, the first of the evening’s four fundraising events, is being hosted by many of Obama’s top Wall Street donors, according to a person familiar with the matter. Sponsors include Blair W. Effron, partner and co-founder of Centerview Partners LLP; Marc Lasry, managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Group; Mark Gallogly, a managing principal of Centerbridge Partners; James Rubin, managing director of BC Partners; Robert Wolf, UBS AG’s chairman for the Americas; and Antonio Weiss, global head of investment banking at Lazard Ltd.

Other co-hosts aren’t associated with the financial services industry, such as Tom Bernstein, president of Chelsea Piers LP; and Kevin Ryan, chief executive officer of Gilt Groupe Inc.; and Sally Susman, an executive vice president of Pfizer Inc. (PFE)

New Taxes

Obama is also holding New York fundraisers outside Wall Street’s financial circle. He is attending a reception that night that is co-hosted by music executive Russell Simmons, author Deepak Chopra and others.

In Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget, he called for $1.4 trillion in new revenue over 10 years from Americans at the top of the income scale, proposing higher taxes on wages and investments and limiting itemized deductions. He would tax long-term capital gains at 20 percent, up from the current 15 percent, for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000.

Obama’s last fundraiser with the financial services industry was last Sept. 19. So far this election cycle, he hasn’t been able to match the success he had four years ago in getting money from Wall Street.

He raised $16 million from employees in the securities and investment industry and their families for the 2008 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

This cycle’s numbers have been lower. JPMorgan Chase & Co., whose employees gave $23,494 to Obama in the last three months, was the only financial institution among Obama’s top 10 list of donors for the fourth quarter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net; Jeffrey McCracken in New York at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.