Monday, April 21, 2008

Obama's Hedge Fund Money Men - Mo' Money

From the NYTimes:


Many of the top 10 managers on Alpha magazine’s mind-blowing 2007 rich list, which was released last week, have put money on Mr. Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions. They have each given the maximum donation allowed, $2,300. (Let’s face it, this is pocket lint to these guys.)

Mr. Obama’s hedge fund contributors include:

John Griffin, the founder of Blue Ridge Capital, who made $625 million in 2007, according to Alpha. Mr. Griffin is backing Mr. Obama after initially supporting Mitt Romney.

Kenneth C. Griffin (no relation) of the Citadel Investment Group in Chicago, who earned $1.5 billion. He contributed to the Obama campaign after the senator came to his office last year.

Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine Capital, who took home $710 million last year.

And, of course, George Soros, who earned almost $3 billion last year. It is no surprise that Mr. Soros, a Democratic stalwart, is backing Mr. Obama. Mr. Soros campaigned against President Bush in 2004, and, which the billionaire investor has plied with tens of millions of dollars, endorsed Mr. Obama in February.'

'So why is Mr. Obama such a popular choice among the hedge fund crowd?

In a word, access. Unlike Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama is relatively new to national politics and is therefore open to bringing new people — and new money — into the tent. For money types who want a table, or at least to look involved and get an invitation to the right parties, Mr. Obama is the candidate.

As one of the hedge fund managers on the Alpha list said, “To be in Hillary’s inner circle, you had to be giving a decade ago, when Bill was president.” The same goes for Mr. McCain.'

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