President Barack Obama's way of handling the looming tax hike may not be popular among the GOP, but it has generated support from a number of influential asset managers, bank CEOs and hedge fund titans. In the support building campaign, a Senior White House official, Valerie Jarrett, met with a number of executives yesterday. In attendance were top officials from the largest of asset manager firms and hedge funds, Daniel Och from Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (NYSE:OZM) and Jonathan Grey from The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX). Stefan Selig from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and Jes Staley from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) were also invited, FINalternatives reports.
Barack Obama is campaigning for a tax hike for the wealthiest two percent in US, and is averse to any elaborate cuts in spending, a plan that Republicans have strongly opposed so far. The tax plan entails at least $1.4 trillion in increased taxes. The Obama administration is not going to negotiate any deal, which will not raise the current $16.4 trillion cap on public debt. On the other end, the proposal put forward by House Speaker John Boehner, asked for $2.2 trillion worth of spending cuts without major increase in taxes.
This latest meetup is a part of a series of many previous discussions that were held with top ranking Wall Street executives. After a meeting held on Dec 3, also hosted by Valerie Jarrett, Marc Lasry, managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Group LLC, said to Bloomberg,
“Everybody in that room understands that taxes have to go up, Republicans are being a little unreasonable right now.”
Obama enlisted important Wall Street executives to push forward his tax plan just recently. Other than Larsy, the Dec 3 meeting was also attended by the Gary Cohn, founder of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and several hedge fund managers including, James Dinan of York Capital, Bruce Richards of Marathon Asset Management, Barry Sternlicht from Starwood Capital Group, Wes Eden of Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE:FIG) and Josh Harris of Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO).
Previously, Obama has been successful in convincing the Business Roundtable, an association of top tier businessmen. The association agreed that increasing taxes is a viable option to reach a solution. Other opponents that Obama won recently, include The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX)'s CEO Steven Schwarzman. The CEO supported Mitt Romney in the presidential campaign.