Lasry 'Shocked' By Hedge Fund Industry's Antipathy For Obama

Dec 4 2012 | 11:45am ET

Nearly a month after the U.S. presidential election, Avenue Capital Group's Marc Lasry remains mystified that most of his colleagues didn't join him in backing the winner.

While the majority of hedge fund managers backed President Barack Obama four years ago, most of them switched sides this year, including Third Point's Dan Loeb, whose enthusiasm for the president in 2008 was matched by his antipathy for him this time around. But in spite of widespread financial backing from hedge funds for Obama's rival, former Bain Capital chief Mitt Romney, the president won reelection rather comfortably.

"It's kind of shocking," Lasry, a longtime Democrat donor and the former employer of Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told Reuters TV last week at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook 2013 Summit on Friday. "Anyone of Wall Street has done very well since the president came into office."

Lasry said he did not understand the depth of the anger towards Obama, although he noted that some of his colleagues were unhappy with Obama's "rhetoric" against Wall Street and his push for higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also pushed through major regulatory reforms for the financial services industry, including new rules for hedge funds.

"I hope it wasn't about higher taxes," Lasry said.

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