Clinton raising money in finance sector

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s economic agenda targets companies that focus on short-term profits and high-speed trading instead of investing in workers. The Democratic presidential candidate’s finance operation is going after their executives for another purpose — donations.

A day after proposing higher capital gains taxes on short-term investors, Clinton raised at least $450,000 Tuesday night at the Chicago home of Raj Fernando, a longtime donor. His firm, Chopper Trading, specializes in high-frequency transactions and was recently purchased by Chicago-based competitor DRW.

Clinton’s summertime fundraising circuit highlights a central tension of her campaign: how to encourage financial executives to open their wallets for her presidential effort even as she comes out with plans aimed at reining multimillion-dollar paychecks. Since her first presidential campaign in 2008, income inequality has become a bigger force in Democratic politics, with liberal voters clamoring for candidates who will take a sharply populist turn and enforce tough new regulations on Wall Street.

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The early outlines of Clinton’s economic plans have included steps to raise taxes on hedge fund and private equity bonuses, penalize short-term investors with higher tax rates and strengthen penalties for rogue executives who are involved in fraudulent deals on Wall Street. She wants further strengthening of financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.

In announcing her economic platform in New York, Clinton called some of the financial institutions led by her top contributors “too complex and too risky.” She said “serious risks are emerging from institutions in the so-called shadow banking system, including hedge funds, high-frequency traders, non-bank finance companies.”