Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made no secret of her disdain for Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy. She has proposed a wealth tax as part of her 2020 platform and has for years crusaded against the big banks.
President Donald Trump has been good in some significant ways for the moneyed interests in America, from his tax cuts to his deregulatory efforts. But his trade tactics have been a worrying factor for Wall Street and the wealthy. Plus, his volatility — giving America and the world Twitter whiplash and allowing the government to shut down for a month — have started to wear on markets.
So whom would Wall Street prefer: Warren, the anti-corporate crusader who promises to be a steadier hand? Or Trump, a president who generally tries to keep his friends happy but is so unpredictable that his actions risk blowing up the system?
“I would vote for Trump and hold my nose, and he’s worse than anything I feared,” one fund manager told me. He said in 2016 he wrote in Mitt Romney’s name and told me he believes Warren is a socialist (she’s not). “How you vote in this coming election is voting your pocketbook or the need to have a person in office who is a person of integrity. If you vote your pocketbook, clearly, you’re voting with Trump.”
In recent weeks, I reached out to more than a dozen fund managers, traders, and investors to pose to them a relatively simple question: If in 2020 it comes down to Warren versus Trump, whom do you choose? Many of them preferred not to comment, but about half of the group weighed in — albeit some on the condition of anonymity.
The general response: Many don’t love Trump, but they would largely pick him over Warren — or would write in someone else. It’s a sign of how deeply despised Warren is among the banking industry, even Democrats.
“There are numerous people who I speak to who can’t stand Donald Trump and are eager to vote for a Democrat but who would nevertheless vote for Trump if it’s a choice between him and Warren. She is the one person who is toxic for the business community,” another fund manager and prominent Democratic donor said, though he clarified he would never vote for Trump himself.