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Monday, September 22, 2008

BAC-LEH-AIG-Which politicians have stocks in financial companies making news (bank of american (BAC), Merrill Lynch (MER), Lehman Brothers (LEH)), AIG

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Which politicians have stocks in financial companies making news (bank of american (BAC), Merrill Lynch (MER), Lehman Brothers (LEH)), AIG. We posed this question in a previous post with regard to AIG. What about the other stocks making headlines BAC, MER, LEH.

Excerpts from the opensecrets society shed some light on this question. It addresses the question of stock ownership as well as campaign contributions, which all important to consider when one think of and assess financial stocks health and future existence.

It appears that the richest members of Congress seem to be the most invested in the companies at the center of the most recent Wall Street shake-up.

Excerpts from are:

"According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, nine lawmakers have between $785,900 and $1.8 million of their own money invested in Merrill Lynch, the brokerage firm that agreed over the weekend to sell itself to Bank of America for $50 billion after facing tens of billions of dollars in losses. Because Bank of America offered to buy the company at a 70 percent premium over the company's closing price on Friday, those who own stock in Merrill Lynch stand to gain from the transaction. Two of the richest members of Congress owned the most stock in the company. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) reported holding between $500,001 and $1 million on his most recent personal financial disclosure, covering 2007, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) owned between $250,003 and $601,000 in stock. (Lawmakers disclose their finances in ranges, annually, making it difficult to determine their assets' precise values.)

Merrill's white knight, Bank of America, which, comparatively, seems to be managing just fine in today's sour economy, is a far more popular investment for members of Congress. Fifty-four lawmakers who held stock in the company in 2007, worth between $1.9 million and $5 million, are probably breathing easier, knowing that Bank of America is buying--rather than having to be bought. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), another one of the richest members of Congress, owned between $865,004 and $1.8 million in stock in the company, while Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), yet another of the richest lawmakers, owned between $201,004 and $465,000 in stock. Seven lawmakers, led by Kerry, owned stock in both Bank of America and Merrill Lynch." .......

"Of all of the companies facing major transitions, lawmakers owned the most stock in American International Group (AIG), the nation's largest insurer, which has asked the Federal Reserve for emergency funding as it faces financial hardships. Twenty-seven lawmakers owned stock in AIG last year, worth between $6.4 million and $20 million. Hayes was at the top of the list of congressional investors, owning stock worth between $2.8 million and $11.5 million, while Kerry followed with stock valued around $2 million.".....

"Since the 1990 election, Merrill Lynch's PAC and employees have given $14.7 million to federal candidates, parties and committees. The company leans heavily Republican--64 percent of the brokerage's total donations have gone to GOP candidates and committees. All three of its top recipients have been (or still are) presidential hopefuls this election cycle. Republican John McCain received $394,300 from people associated with Merrill Lynch, making the company his top contributor. Democrat Hillary Clinton collected $290,650, and Barack Obama got $229,100. The company's favorite non-presidential candidate is Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of both the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. He has received $226,150 in this election cycle.".....


" Bank of America's PAC and employees have given $16.6 million, also favoring Republicans, though less sharply. About 54 percent of the company's contributions over time have gone to the GOP. Obama is the top recipient of contributions from employees at Bank of America, with $263,500 in donations. McCain has brought in $177,500, making him the fourth-largest recipient. Sen. Chris Dodd, chair of the Senate banking committee, has collected $144,650, while congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer (both Democrats) and John Boehner (a Republican) are all among the company's top 20 recipients over time.

Lehman Brothers has given $9.2 million through employees and its PAC since 1989, with 54 percent of that going to Democrats. Clinton and Barack Obama top the list of all-time recipients for the company, collecting $410,000 and $395,600 respectively. Schumer hauled in $181,450, while Dodd has collected $165,800. The top recipient of PAC money from Lehman Brothers has been Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over banking and the securities industry. Castle has collected $38,500 from Lehman's PAC since 1993.

This election cycle, Lehman employees have given about $1.3 million to presidential candidates. Only fellow financial giants Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have given more to the presidential hopefuls this election cycle. Lehman employees have made their firm one of the top contributors to both Obama ($370,500) and John McCain ($117,500) this election cycle. (For a full list of recipients of Lehman contributions, see this post from Friday.) "....

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