Private donations to defray the cost of Barack Obama's inauguration festivities total $27.3 million—and large donors, including Wall Street executives flush with bailout cash, chipped in $24.8 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. That runs counter to the vow to remain independent of special interests that led the president-elect to ban corporations from funding the Jan. 20 ceremonies.
Financial-services execs have bundled donations, and just 378 people raised 70% of the money raised through yesterday. Wall Street employees were the largest single source. A Lehman exec bundled $115,000, a Citigroup director put a $265,000 package together, and Goldman accounted for least $175,000. Congress approved $10 million in public funds for the event.