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Hedge Fund Executives to Meet With White House on Budget

December 12, 2012

The Obama administration is continuing its outreach to Wall Street executives in pressing for a resolution of the U.S. budget dispute, with a meeting planned today between Valerie Jarrett and hedge fund managers, according to an administration official.

Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will meet with financial services executives, including Daniel Och, chief executive of Och-Ziff Capital Management, according to the official, who requested anonymity when discussing private meetings.

Others scheduled to attend, the official said, include Stefan M. Selig, executive vice chairman of global corporate and investment banking at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch; Jonathan D. Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group Management LLC; and Jes Staley, chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s corporate and investment bank.

Today’s Wall Street session with Jarrett, reported earlier by the New York Times, follows her meeting on Dec. 3 with Marc Lasry, managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Group LLC, and Gary D. Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Two days later, Obama also addressed the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, and repeated his argument that more tax revenue needs to come from the top 2 percent of earners while rates for middle-income Americans stay the same.

Reaching Out

As Obama works to enlist the support of the financial services industry, he has won praise from some Republicans, including those who raised money for Mitt Romney during the election.

“I think the president is reaching out pretty aggressively in the context of trying to make connections to the other side to get a deficit deal done,” Steve Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive officer of Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) and a Romney donor, said today on CNBC. “It’s pretty clear that we are one nation.”

Obama and his staff are negotiating with congressional Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, on a plan to avoid more than $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts that will begin taking effect Jan. 1.

Boehner has resisted Obama’s plan to let top tax rates rise and the White House has been seeking support from corporate leaders, financial executives, labor unions and activists to build pressure for a deal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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