Hillary Clinton: Wall Street's favorite enemy

Wed Nov 2, 2016 1:04am EDT
 
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By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton began her presidential campaign by promising to do what it takes to rein in Wall Street.

Boosted by Wall Street's toughest critics, U.S. senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate has declared "the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top" and said she would raise bank fees and tighten banking regulations. She has encouraged regulators to break up too-risky banks.

And yet, Wall Street appears unperturbed by the prospect of a Clinton presidency. In fact, the banking industry has supported Clinton with buckets of cash and stocks have sold off on days when the Clinton campaign stumbles. Privately, bankers say that they trust her to remain a pragmatist who will keep the current regulatory regime laid down by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation passed in 2010.

“I don’t think Clinton wakes up thinking about Wall Street," one senior banking industry lobbyist said.

There are hints in apparently leaked email discussions among Clinton's campaign staff that bankers are not far off the mark when they count on her to tread lightly.

Pressed during the campaign by progressive Democrats to call for a revival of the Glass-Steagall Act that would require separation of commercial and investment banking, Clinton ultimately refused. She also weighed another progressive favorite - a tax on financial transactions- but instead recommended a far narrower plan to tax only canceled orders by high speed traders.

Ultimately, what bankers most like about Clinton is that she is not Donald Trump.

Many financiers fear her unorthodox Republican rival could disrupt global trade, damage geopolitical relationships and rattle markets, industry analysts and participants say.   Continued...

 
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, U.S. November 1, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder