In a shocking turn of events for hard-charging 2020 Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren, bigwig, big business Democratic donors on Wall Street are threatening to sit out the 2020 election — or even back Donald Trump — if the party nominates the Massachusetts senator.
CNBC says it spoke to a number of high-profile and big-money Democratic donors and fundraisers, and their general consensus is largely that Warren is a threat to their bottom lines. Warren is a hugely outspoken critic of big banks and big corporations who has quickly passed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and caught up to front-running former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic nomination.
“You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, ‘I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me, so I’m going to help President Trump,’” a “senior private equity executive” told CNBC anonymously out of fear of retribution from Democratic party leaders.
Warren has by far led the primary field in sweeping proposals and policy ideas that would rework the economy and hammer the upper class with a couple of wealth taxes to pay for a large number of giveaways like Medicare for All, universal childcare, a Social Security boost of $200 a month, canceling student loan debt, free college tuition and more.
She also has sworn off big-money fundraisers for the 2020 primary and promised not to take donations from special interest groups. Warren managed to raise $19 million during the second quarter, mostly through small-dollar donations.
Trump’s campaign, meanwhile raised more than $100 million during the second quarter taking money from anyone who will donate it, including wealthy donors who gave to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee. The Republican National Committee raised about $23 million during the month of August and has about $53 million in its coffers.
The Democratic National Committee, on the other hand, raised about $8 million in August and has $7.2 million in debt, putting the Democrats far behind.
Biden, meanwhile, has sought the support of big-money donors but has begun to lag in the polls, including the latest Quinnipiac poll, which actually has him trailing Warren for the first time.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is essentially tied with former Vice President Joe Biden in today’s Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University national poll. Warren gets 27 percent of the vote while Biden gets 25 percent of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic. Though well within the margin of error, this is the first time that a candidate other than Biden has had the numerical lead in the primary since Quinnipiac began asking the question in March.
And the more Warren has surged, the more the business community has spoken out against her.
We’ve covered a number of stories on how Wall Street has reacted to a potential Warren nomination here on Money and Markets:
- Warren’s Surge in Polls Scaring Investors: ‘She’s Not My Candidate of Choice’
- Cooperman: ‘They Won’t Open the Stock Market’ if Warren Wins in 2020
- Cramer: Wall Street Execs Fearful, Say Warren Has ‘Got to Be Stopped’
For her part, Warren, who is campaigning as a champion for the working class, has taken the catcalls from Wall Street in stride.
I’m Elizabeth Warren and I approve this message. https://t.co/2Ewkbm0ZwA
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 10, 2019
Big bank executives and hedge fund managers, however, are reportedly stunned by Warren’s ascension — and they’re ready to fight back to save their profits.
“They will not support her. It would be like shutting down their industry,” an executive at one of the nation’s largest banks told CNBC. The anonymous executive said Warren’s policies will be worse for Wall Street than those of former President Barack Obama, who signed the Dodd-Frank banking regulations bill after the 2008 financial crisis.
A hedge fund manager told CNBC that Warren will turn back the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — and its massive corporate tax cut — if she wins the presidency.
“I think if she can show that the tax code of 2017 was basically nonsense and only helped corporations, Wall Street would not like the public thinking about that,” an anonymous executive said.