Obama’s Barclays Buddies

MSNBC Anchor ignores that current and former execs at disgraced bank are prominent Obama fundraisers


A prominent bank whose executives have contributed money to the Obama campaign is currently mired in an international market-rigging scandal. Barclays, a British bank, was fined 290 million pounds (U.S. $455 million) for rigging interest rates.

MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir reported Tuesday that Barclays employs contributors to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

However, Bashir did not mention that Barclays has contributed money to the Obama campaign, or that a Barclays director has visited the White House on numerous occasions.

U.S. and U.K. regulators claimed that Barclays “systematically” tried to rig the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). The bank’s chairman, Marcus Agius, resigned from the bank Monday, reportedly “in a bid to shield Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond.”

“Last week’s events, evidencing as they do unacceptable standards of behavior within the bank, have dealt a devastating blow to Barclays’s reputation” Agius said in a statement.

Barclays director Mark Gilbert is an Obama fundraiser whose daughter Dani, a DNC employee, recently raised controversy for a series of highly charged comments on her Facebook page.

Gilbert and his wife Nancy have raised at least $500,000 for the Obama campaign.

Mark and Nancy Gilbert have visited the White House “numerous times” during the Obama administration.

The Gilberts are not the only major Obama fundraiser with ties to the troubled firm: Obama bundler M. Ernest Green retired from Barclays in 2009, and the president has accepted $26,800 from Barclays employees this election cycle and took $129,605 from Barclays workers in 2008.

The Obama campaign did not return a request for comment.