Hillary Clinton, Wall Street’s Favorite Democrat

Hillary Clinton, Wall Street’s Favorite Democrat November 14, 2014

Let me start by stating the obvious: If you actually believe that Hillary Clinton is for the “little guy” against big business, you’re living in a dream world. Like her husband, she has spent decades courting Wall Street and they will shower her with money in the 2016 campaign (again, like they did Bill).

While the finance industry does genuinely hate Warren, the big bankers love Clinton, and by and large they badly want her to be president. Many of the rich and powerful in the financial industry—among them, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Tom Nides, a powerful vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, and the heads of JPMorganChase and Bank of America—consider Clinton a pragmatic problem-solver not prone to populist rhetoric. To them, she’s someone who gets the idea that we all benefit if Wall Street and American business thrive. What about her forays into fiery rhetoric? They dismiss it quickly as political maneuvers. None of them think she really means her populism.

Although Hillary Clinton has made no formal announcement of her candidacy, the consensus on Wall Street is that she is running—and running hard—and that her national organization is quickly falling into place behind the scenes. That all makes her attractive. Wall Street, above all, loves a winner, especially one who is not likely to tamper too radically with its vast money pot.

According to a wide assortment of bankers and hedge-fund managers I spoke to for this article, Clinton’s rock-solid support on Wall Street is not anything that can be dislodged based on a few seemingly off-the-cuff comments in Boston calculated to protect her left flank. (For the record, she quickly walked them back, saying she had “short-handed” her comments about the failures of trickle-down economics by suggesting, absurdly, that corporations don’t create jobs.) “I think people are very excited about Hillary,” says one Wall Street investment professional with close ties to Washington. “Most people in New York on the finance side view her as being very pragmatic. I think they have confidence that she understands how things work and that she’s not a populist.”…

During the 2012 presidential election, Wall Street felt burned by Obama’s rhetoric and regulatory positions and overwhelmingly supported with their money Republican candidate Mitt Romney, co-founder of private-equity firm Bain Capital. Now, though, there’s a significant momentum back behind the Democratic contest. “The money is already behind her,” the Wall Street money manager says. “I don’t think it’s starting to line up behind her: It’s there for her if she wants it.”

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t George W. Bush who deregulated Wall Street, it was Bill Clinton. He was the one who signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. That same year, he also signed a bill that forbid the Treasury Department from regulating the derivatives market, which led directly to the collapse of the real estate and mortgage industries and caused the great recession of 2008 (it was one of the last things he did as president, in December, 1999). The Clintons have spent their lives cozying up to Wall Street, no matter what populist rhetoric they may use on the campaign trail.

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  • The best thing about Hillary Clinton is that she isn’t a Republican. With the House under the control of the Republicans for the foreseeable future (thanks to gerrymandering) and the Senate likely to flip between the two parties every couple of years, it’s vitally important that there isn’t a Republican in the White House after Obama, especially if it’s someone like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul (as unlikely as that seems at the moment).

    I’m all for a strong Democratic challenger in the primary, (Obama proved it can be done), as long as they’re not as odious as Governor Cuomo. It would be wonderful if progressives and liberals were forging ahead with their agenda in America, but the reality is that we’ve been in a holding pattern for the last few years and appear likely to be so for some time to come.

    I will be very happy to support a serious challenge from the left in the Democratic primary, but if Clinton win, I will support her as part of the rearguard against the right wing crazies who cannot be allowed to have unfettered access to the US Federal Government machine.

    In the meantime, it’s time to take back the state governments, and use propositions to pass more progressive policies in the states, including election reforms that will boost the turnout in all elections. Maybe then, after Clinton, a true liberal can finally be elected president.

  • …it was Bill Clinton. He was the one who signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. That same year, he also signed a bill that forbid the Treasury Department from regulating the derivatives market…

    To be fair, at the time everybody was for it. Except for the dirty hippies, who don’t count. Still don’t.

  • colnago80

    Re tacitus @ #1

    Well, a couple of potential rivals were virtually eliminated in the mid term elections. Maryland Governor O’Malley’s Lieutenant Governor lost the race for governor in one of the bluest states in the nation. Virginia Senator Warner, who was the most popular governor in the last 30 years in that state, barely held on to his senate seat against an opponent who had never run for elective office before.

    Really, the only potential rival I see who could generate any enthusiasm is Elizabeth Warren, who Wall Street would spend a fortune to defeat. New York Senator Gillibrand, a former Blue Dog Democrat when she represented a conservative Upstate New York district in the House but who has since edged leftward since being appointed to the Senate to replace Clinton, is not well enough known. Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey is hardly distinguishable from Clinton in terms of bedding down with Wall Street. Joe Biden will be 74 years old in 2016 and has had two manifestly unsuccessful presidential runs under his belt.

    The big problem for any potential opponent is the Clinton bankroll and name recognition.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Cue the Moderate Democratic Kiss-up Chorus in 3…2…1…


  • Akira MacKenzie, but he would be. He had advisors like Bolton and Bork. And also Wall Street fuckwads.

  • marcus

    Yes Akira McKenzie, As much I would like to see someone not named Clinton or Bush running in 2016, the fact of the matter is that wishful thinking is going to accomplish exactly nothing. i certainly understand those like Ed who refuse to vote for the main party candidates, there really isn’t a ‘good’ choice, bu t even that course of action is fraught with peril as we saw in 2000. Even though I was never extremely fond of Gore, I have no doubt that Bush was much, much worse. If and when the time comes I will line up and cast my vote for Madame Clinton and be relieved, if not necessarily joyful. if she wins.



  • freehand

    But marcus, there wasn’t much danger in Gore going full bore Wall street. We might even have started a process to ameliorate the damage from global warming. that is, electing gore might have accomplished something.

    The puppet masters don’t care about social issues and a few other trivialities. If you’re looking at gay rights, for example, there’s a world of difference between the Democrats and the GOP. But I see essentially nothing happening with reining in fossil fuels. The only thing I accomplished by voting for Obama is that I helped convince the Democrats that they don’t need to be truly progressive, and they don’t need to save the planet from Big Oil & Big Coal. They are in a holding pattern, and we have about run out of time.


    I’d vote for a Warren-Franken ticket in a heartbeat. But we know that won’t happen – no money in it. If I’m going to grow old watching the planet die, at least I’ll not have voted again for anyone who still thinks anything else is more important than the survival of the species.

  • marcus

    freehand “But marcus, there wasn’t much danger in Gore going full bore Wall street. We might even have started a process to ameliorate the damage from global warming. that is, electing gore might have accomplished something.”

    Sorry if I was unclear, what you say is true. My only reservation was that he was ‘establishment’ and I’ve become too cynical to expect any real change to be initiated by establishment politicians. I voted for him and would have loved to have been surprised by the kind of action you suggest. I guess it’s just ‘sour-grapes’ on my part.

    I would also love to have the opportunity to vote for a Warren-Franken ticket.

  • Scalia is 78. Kennedy is 78. Notorious RBG is 81. Not having a republican president in the next 10 years is very, very important.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I do realize that instant gratification is a core American value, but if y’all can bear with me for a few moments I’d like to point out a few things:

    * A key reason we don’t have action on climate change is because we can’t elect enough people to Congress to get environmental laws passed.

    * A key reason we can’t electe enough people to Congress to pass environmental laws is because our electoral system (voting rights, among many other things) is bollixed.

    * A key reason our electoral system is bollixed is because we have Team Republican dominating the Supreme Court.

    * Even if we did get environmental laws passed, there’s no guarantee that Team Republican wouldn’t nullify them.

    * And why do we have Team Republican playing partisan gatekeeper on election laws, environmental laws, and Presidential elections? Because we elected (or appointed) Republican Presidents who selected judges for Party loyalty!

    So, assuming we can stop waving our hands, kicking our feet, screaming and pissing our diapers long enough if we want to actually do anything about the freaking environment, we had damned well better not elect any more Republicans President!

  • dingojack

    Hillary Clinton, Wall Street’s Favorite Democrat

    And in other news….

    ☛ Joseph Smith discovered to have had upto 40 ‘wives’…

    ☛ Bryan Fischer proves to be clueless…

    ☛ Water found to be wet…

    ☛ Sun rises in the east…

    This has been the 9:00pm edition of the completely unsurprising news.



  • Cue the Moderate Democratic Kiss-up Chorus in 3…2…1…


    Well, he would be worse. Is it crazy to accept that reality?

  • Jordan Genso


    Well stated point. I agree completely. We need to fix the system, and then fix Congress, before worrying about having a perfect president. And if we don’t have a Democratic president in the meantime, those first two steps are nearly impossible.