It seems that Wall Street, which was broadly supportive of President Obama and the Democrats in 2008, is having voter's remorse. That's the subject of Andrew Ross Sorkin's column today that chronicles some major figures in finance who gave generously to Democrats, but now appear to be turning to Republicans. But unlike the popular narrative that it's all about regulation and taxes, Sorkin says something else is to blame: ego.
He explains that some of the tactics taken by the Obama administration like championing the Volcker Rule have made bankers feel like it's personal. He explains that this isn't what Wall Street expected:
Mr. Obama was viewed as a member of the elite, an Ivy League graduate (Columbia, class of '83, the same as Mr. Loeb), president of The Harvard Law Review -- he was supposed to be just like them. President Obama was the "intelligent" choice, the same way they felt about themselves. They say that they knew he would seek higher taxes and tighter regulation; that was O.K. What they say they did not realize was that they were going to be painted as villains.
Remember what their choice was back in 2008? Was there really any doubt that Wall Street -- a group of people who generally went to good schools and consider themselves to be very smart -- would better relate to Ivy-educated former Chicago lawyer President Obama or Naval Academy war hero Arizonan Senator McCain? There's no mystery here. But I'd take this analysis one step further: Wall Street was, and had long been, politically superficial.