Wall Street is heading to the Democratic convention. According to Politico, "hordes" of executives from the Street are descending on Philadelphia to celebrate Hillary Clinton’s nomination for president and renew close associations with her. Goldman Sachs (which paid Clinton millions for private speeches) will be well represented, with executives Jake Siewert, a former Bill Clinton press secretary, making the trip along with Steven Barg, Michael Paese, Joyce Brayboy and Jennifer Scully, who was a major fundraiser for Bill Clinton in New York in 1992. Blackstone, one of the nation’s largest private equity firms, will hold an official reception in Philadelphia on Thursday featuring its president, Tony James, sometimes mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary in a Clinton administration.
Hedge fund managers and top Democratic donors including Avenue Capital’s Marc Lasry and Boston Provident’s Orin Kramer will also be on the scene, as will Morgan Stanley executive and former top Clinton aide Tom Nides. Executives from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other large banks will also prowl the streets and barrooms of Philadelphia.
Also well represented, according to Politico, will be the “Rubin wing” of the Democratic Party (named for Wall Street executive and former Bill Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin) -- circulating through panel discussions, party committee events, and cocktail parties. Larry Summers, a Harvard professor and former Rubin protégé who also served as Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, will take part in a discussion on the economy.
It’s all in “sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s convention in Cleveland, which Wall Street largely shunned over fears of the GOP nominee’s populist agenda on trade, immigration and Wall Street reform,” Politico reports. “The banker anxiety only grew during Trump’s convention as the party rolled out a platform plank calling for the re-imposition of a Depression-era Glass-Steagall law that could force banks to break up into smaller pieces. Wall Street groaned as Clinton moved to the left during the primary — especially on trade — but the industry remains far more comfortable with the idea of another President Clinton in the White House than a President Trump.”
Steve Rattner, an investment banker and Democratic donor who is heading to Philadelphia told Politico: “The GOP platform includes reinstating Glass-Steagall. And when you watched that [Trump acceptance] speech, Bernie Sanders could have given half of it. Putting partisanship aside, most of my Republican business friends are appalled at the thought of Donald Trump in the White House.”
I don't know about you, but this makes me anxious. The 2016 election is less about left versus right than it is about anti-establishment versus establishment. The last thing the Democrats need right now is the conspicuous presence of Wall Street and “Rubin Democrats” at their convention.
What do you think?