Sep 20, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Wall Street is scared of Elizabeth Warren

Illustration of  Sen. Elizabeth Warren scaring big tech and big farms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Wall Street's fear of Elizabeth Warren puts its many never-Trumpers in an electoral pickle.

The big picture: Warren regularly aims her ire at professional financiers, whereas progressive rival Bernie Sanders is typically more generic in his "millionaires and billionaires" rhetoric.

  • Sources I spoke with are split on the depth of Warren's actual knowledge of financial markets. Some say she knows more than almost anyone else in D.C., while others say she knows just enough to be dangerous.

What they're saying: Warren worries were a persistent theme on the sidelines of a CNBC conference yesterday.

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer said earlier that the message he hears from Wall Street about Warren is that "she's got to be stopped."
  • Steve Rattner, the onetime private equity exec and Obama car czar, recently told MSNBC that his fellow Democratic donors have "enormous nervousness" about Warren.
  • Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney last week said: "Warren would force all big companies to take a lot of their profit away from shareholders. And it would be given to the workforce, the community, customers, the local and global environment, and community and societal factors (whatever that is)."

Worth noting:Assume Varney is also aghast at the 181 big company and Wall Street CEOs who signed onto the Business Roundtable's new mission statement.

The bottom line: This hand-wringing will intensify if Warren's polling momentum persists, but Wall Street ultimately will try figuring out how to best work with a possible Warren White House, rather than against it. After all, that's what it's largely done with Trump.

Go deeper: Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax could have slashed billionaires' fortunes

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