One of the things that happen when there is a chance of progressives achieving positions that have at least some significant power is that the curtain that hides oligarchic control of the political system gets pulled back a bit and we get to see how the system really works. While Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a spirited challenge in 2016, she was never in any real danger of not getting the nomination, especially since in that race the primary rules with its super-delegates weighted the result heavily in her favor. Hence the big money interests in the Democratic party had nothing to fear from either her or Donald Trump becoming president because they win either way. So many Wall Street executives could contribute to the Democrats because they tend to not be right-wing bigots on social issues.
But this time things are different. Joe Biden, the leading Democratic establishment candidate that Wall Street would like, is looking very shaky and it is not inconceivable that he might not last to the end of the primary season. Currently Elizabeth Warren is surging in the polls while Biden is sliding and clearly Wall Street is nervous. The other favored establishment candidate Kamala Harris does not seem to gaining any traction either. Wall Street executives have fired a warning shot to the Democratic party that they had better do something to prevent Warren from becoming the nominee.
Democratic donors on Wall Street and in big business are preparing to sit out the presidential campaign fundraising cycle — or even back President Donald Trump — if Sen. Elizabeth Warren wins the party’s nomination.
In recent weeks, CNBC spoke to several high-dollar Democratic donors and fundraisers in the business community and found that this opinion was becoming widely shared as Warren, an outspoken critic of big banks and corporations, gains momentum against Joe Biden in the 2020 race.
“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,’” said a senior private equity executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity in fear of retribution by party leaders.
During the campaign, Warren has put out multiple plans intended to curb the influence of Wall Street, including a wealth tax. In July, she released a proposal that would make private equity firms responsible for debts and pension obligations of companies they buy.
Biden, who has courted and garnered the support of various wealthy donors, has started to lag in some polls.
The business community’s unease about Warren’s candidacy has surged in tandem with her campaign’s momentum. CNBC’s Jim Cramer said earlier this month that he’s heard from Wall Street executives that they believe Warren has “got to be stopped.” Warren later tweeted her response to Cramer’s report: “I’m Elizabeth Warren and I approve this message.”
Some big bank executives and hedge fund managers have been stunned by Warren’s ascent, and they are primed to resist her.
If this trend of Warren ascending and Biden declining continues, you will see the mask slipping further and the naked face of oligarchic power increasingly revealed. These high-paid executives might say they care about liberal social issues but they love their money a lot more.