Donald Trump may be business-savvy, but it does not mean that Wall Street wants him as the president of the United States. In fact, the prospect of Trump leading the country terrifies most bankers on Wall Street.
Trump’s relationship with Wall Street is not as smooth as everyone thinks. The GOP front-runner has been involved in huge debts and numerous lawsuits. He once sued Deutsche Bank and blamed it for the country’s financial crisis. The billionaire is also known for getting himself involved in petty controversies in the financial world. He also once called the Dean of New York bankers, JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, “the worst banker in the United States.”
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The investment community knows Trump for being unpredictable, and “unpredictability” is the one thing that terrifies investors. Unlike his rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who is viewed as steady and predictable, Trump “tends to evoke the unexpected,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and Chief Executive of the Partnership for New York City.
“New York is amazing and welcoming of interesting characters. It’s a place people can be unique, they can be abrasive, and on a personal level, the city is very open to people being their authentic selves,” Wylde was quoted as saying.
However, “most business leaders want to tread carefully and not engage in unnecessary controversy.”
Many business leaders fear that Trump will only cause uncertainty in the financial world.
“What investors can’t accept is uncertainty. As such, some of Donald Trump’s statements have been so outrageous, politically incorrect, and economically dysfunctional that Wall Street does not know which way to turn. He cannot be pigeon-holed ideologically,” an opinion article on Reformer.com explained.
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Others doubt if Trump’s skills in real estate are enough to lead the country during a time of economic crisis. As such, they do not see Trump as someone who can give Wall Street the stability it demands.
Another reason Wall Street worries about the business tycoon’s ascension to the nomination is that he wants to raise taxes on the rich, and he frequently attacks companies that move their offices to other countries to lower their tax bill.
His populist appeal is a major threat to Wall Street. The billionaire has repeatedly condemned Wall Street for being greedy.
During an episode of CBS’s Face the Nation, Trump slammed hedge fund managers, saying, “They’re paying nothing. And it’s ridiculous.”
He added, “I want to save the middle class… The hedge-fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around, and they get lucky.”
Wall Street also sees Donald Trump as a “disrupter.”
“Wall Street works in close collaboration between policymakers and markets, and Trump is a disrupter,” said Peter Kenny, a 20-year Wall Street expert. “Just because he’s a billionaire does not mean that he is part of the team.”
As the election draws near and the business magnate’s support increases, Wall Street is doing all it can to stop Trump from taking the presidential seat. Investor Paul Singer is reportedly financing an anti-Trump group called the Our Principles PAC. Mitt Romney has also joined the battle against Trump. Romney called the real estate billionaire a “fraud and phony” in a recent speech in Utah.
Despite the opposition to Trump, there are still some high-powered players on Wall Street who have backed the Republican presidential candidate. One such person is Carl Icahn.
Icahn, a Wall Street veteran, believes that Trump can change the way things are done in the business and financial world.
“We can’t get anything accomplished in Washington. We need a major change” he explained.
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) March 14, 2016
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]