Goldman Sachs Keeps Its Wallet Closed to Politicians, Parties

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has yet to make a federal political contribution to candidates of any party in 2021, filings with the Federal Election Commission show.

Although many of the companies that suspended donations from their political action committees in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump have resumed giving, Goldman Sachs’s PAC has remained dormant.

Goldman Sachs’s halt is a big turnaround from the first six months of 2019, when its PAC made more than 150 donations totaling $406,500. This year, it’s reported just two transactions, voiding a pair of uncashed checks totaling $3,000 in March that it sent to campaigns in 2020.

The PAC raked in $1.3 million from the bank’s employees in the 2020 election cycle but hasn’t raised a dime in 2021, leaving it with $360,689 in the bank.

Other banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. had yet to resume giving to federal candidates or committees through the end of May, though their PACs have continued to raise money. JP Morgan’s PAC had taken in the most money, some $206,639.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment.

Days after the attack on the Capitol and the objections of 147 Republican lawmakers to the Electoral College results confirming the election of President Joe Biden, Goldman joined dozens of other corporations in announcing that it would suspend and review its practice of political donations. The companies either halted contributions to those who challenged the Electoral College results or stopped giving altogether.

Democrats who were cut off complained that they were being punished for the other party’s sins, while a number of Republicans argued that they were being singled out for what they portrayed as a stand against voter fraud.

Some companies stopped donations to the 147 Republican objectors but continued giving to other candidates. Morgan Stanley took that path, with its PAC doling out $186,000 through the end of May. Most corporate PACs are due to report their June activity to the FEC on July 20.

The financial industry is consistently one of the biggest sources of campaign cash, pouring in $787 million in the 2020 election cycle according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Goldman Sachs and its employees donated $5.5 million of that amount, with about a fifth of that coming from the PAC.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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