Wall Street on Parade-1/31/16
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, among the top five largest lifetime donors to Hillary’s campaigns, Citigroup tops the list, with three other Wall Street banks also making the cut: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. (The monies come from employees and/or family members or PACs of the firms, not the corporation itself.)
Hillary Clinton famously told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2014 that she and Bill Clinton left the White House after his second term “dead broke.” But apparently, Citigroup felt they were a good investment. According to PolitiFact, Citigroup provided a $1.995 million mortgage to allow the Clintons to buy their Washington, D.C. residence in 2000. That liability does not pop up on the Clinton disclosure documents until 2011, showing a 30-year mortgage at 5.375 percent ranging in face amount from $1 million to $5 million from CitiMortgage. The disclosure says the mortgage was taken out in 2001.
Citigroup has also committed $5.5 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, a charity run by the Clintons. It has also paid enormous speaking fees to Bill Clinton.
What has Citigroup gotten from its outsized support of the Clintons? Bill Clinton is the President who repealed the most important investor protection legislation of the past century, the Glass-Steagall Act, an outcome heavily lobbied for by Citigroup. Hillary Clinton has signaled to Wall Street that she will not push to have the Glass-Steagall Act restored while her leading opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, vows to restore it and return sanity to America’s financial system.
Just nine years after Bill Clinton signed this massive deregulation of Wall Street and gave Citigroup’s Sandy Weill a souvenir pen from the signing, the U.S. financial system collapsed in the greatest implosion since the Great Depression.
In some instances, according to the taped interview, Cramer would call the anchors with a possible news lead on a company after he had already established a position in that firm. Says the trader in the taped interview: “Before he’d call Maria maybe we’d buy five or ten thousand shares of something. You know, the name that he was about to mention. He would position the firm so that when it did come out, it would be the positive or negative short or long, depending on, you know, what information he gave.”
The CNBC relationship allegedly worked both ways, with Cramer making trades based on information he gleaned from the on-air talent. One tale that came up during the trader’s interview with assistant U.S. attorneys involved profit made on Salomon Inc. just before an announcement that the investment bank was being bought by Travelers Group in September 1997. The trader recalls Cramer saying, “That’s one for Faber.”
In April, Forbes.com broke the news that Maier, 33, who used to be a trader at Cramer’s hedge fund, had been feeding information to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission about Cramer & Co. ‘s allocations of initial public offerings from Goldman Sachs . The SEC is conducting an investigation into the way investment banks apportioned IPO shares to clients during the height of the bull market.
Now it turns out that Maier may have also persuaded the office of the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York to look into Cramer’s trading. Maier boasts that, in March, he spoke with the government and handed over the transcript of his taped interview with another former trader at the hedge fund. The interview was conducted as part of his research for his book, Trading With The Enemy, a tell-all about Maier’s days at the raucous Cramer & Co. trading desk.
Cramer’s lawyer, Eric Seiler Eric Seiler , says that his client “is not under investigation by any U.S. attorney on any subject.” Linda Lacewell Linda Lacewell , an assistant U.S. attorney, would not comment either way as to the possibility of an investigation into Cramer. But the trader in the transcript, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has confirmed that he has since been interviewed by lawyers in the U.S. attorney’s office.
The transcript includes some eyebrow-raising anecdotes relating to Cramer’s cozy relationship with CNBC television personalities Maria Bartiromo Maria Bartiromo , David Faber David Faber and Mark Haines Mark Haines . Since leaving his hedge fund, Cramer has joined the network as co-host of the nightly CNBC yakfest, America Now. He also frequently cavorts with Haines and Faber on its morning show, Squawk Box.
In some instances, according to the taped interview, Cramer would call the anchors with a possible news lead on a company after he had already established a position in that firm.