It’s not the biggest player on Wall Street in terms of political money. But Goldman Sachs is financial public enemy No. 1 in this year’s election campaign.
The giant investment bank has become the symbol of the excesses of Wall Street, cited both by liberals leery of deregulated banking and conservatives opposed to big banks and “crony capitalism.” And it’s being singled out for its ties to the political establishment because of two top contenders for the presidency.
Hillary Clinton, the front-running Democratic candidate, received $675,000 in speaking fees from the firm. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a top challenger for the GOP nomination, borrowed $500,000 from the firm to help finance his Senate campaign and then failed to reveal it on one of his legally mandated disclosure forms. Also, his wife, Heidi, is a managing director at the firm in Houston, although she is on leave.
Their rivals drive home the connections to angry, anti-establishment voters.
“I don’t take money from big banks. I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a recent debate with Clinton. (Read more from “Goldman Sachs Is in the Eye of the Campaign Storm” HERE)