Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are only a few days left in our critical Mid-Year Campaign and we truly might not make it without your help.
Please join us. If you rely on independent media, support Common Dreams today. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) greet one another on stage at a rally in Boston in April, 2017. (Photo: Steven Senne/AP)

"It Can't Be Warren and It Can't Be Sanders": Wall Street Executives Make 2020 Preferences Known

"Wall Street likes Biden, Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, and Beto. Guess who they hate? Sanders and Warren. All the rest is commentary."

Jake Johnson

The first 2020 Democratic presidential primary is still over a year away, but Wall Street executives are reportedly already freaking out about two likely progressive candidates: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

"It can't be Warren and it can't be Sanders," the CEO of a "giant bank" anonymously told Politico, which reported on Monday that Wall Street executives are "getting panicked" about the presidential prospects of the Senate's two fiercest financial sector critics.

"The best indication of who you should vote for in the Democratic primary if you actually want progressive policy is who Wall Street doesn't like, which essentially means Bernie or Warren."
—Josh Mound, journalist

Warren launched an exploratory committee for president last month, vowing to take on the "corruption" that is "poisoning our democracy." Sanders, for his part, has yet to publicly announce a bid for the White House—but Yahoo News reported on Friday that the Vermont senator plans to launch his campaign "imminently."

Both progressive senators have placed scrutiny of Wall Street's size, record of large-scale fraud, exorbitant CEO pay packages, enormous political influence, and lack of stringent regulations at the center of their political agendas for years, and deep-pocketed bankers who have profited immensely from President Donald Trump's tenure are worried that one of the two could ascend to the White House and threaten their pocketbooks.

"Bankers' biggest fear," Politico reported, is that the 2020 Democratic presidential "nomination goes to an anti-Wall Street crusader" like Warren or Sanders.

"The result is a kind of nervous paralysis of executives pining for a centrist nominee like Michael Bloomberg," Politico noted, referring to the billionaire former New York City mayor, who is reportedly considering a self-funded presidential bid

According to Politico, Wall Street executives who want Trump out of the White House mentioned "a consistent roster of appealing nominees" they would find acceptable outside of Bloomberg, who the outlet describes as Wall Street's "platonic ideal."

This "roster" reportedly included Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.); former Vice President Joe Biden; and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas).

As CNBC reported earlier this month, Harris, Booker, and Gillibrand have all reached out to Wall Street to gauge support for 2020 campaigns. Harris announced that she is running for president last week, and Gillibrand launched an exploratory committee for president earlier this month.

One executive—who Politico described as a hedge fund manager and a top Democratic donor—declared, "If it's Biden and Beto or Biden and Harris, that might make a difference. The good news for Biden is everyone likes him. The bad news is there is not a lot of passion."

Progressives were quick to argue on Twitter that Wall Street's fear of a possible Sanders or Warren presidency constitutes a powerful endorsement of both candidates.

By coming out so strongly against the progressive senators, argued The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick, Wall Street is "literally giving them a campaign slogan."

In response to Wall Street's largely anonymous attacks on Sanders and Warren, People for Bernie tweeted, "We bathe in your tears."

"The best indication of who you should vote for in the Democratic Primary if you actually want progressive policy is who Wall Street doesn't like, which essentially means Bernie or Warren," concluded journalist Josh Mound.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Massive Betrayal': Biden Cuts Deal With McConnell to Nominate Anti-Abortion Judge

"At a time when we are fighting to protect human rights, this is a complete slap in the face."

Jake Johnson ·


Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone

Noting his refusal to cooperate beyond an informal April interview, the committee's chair said that "we are left with no choice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders Pushes Back Against AIPAC Super PAC With Endorsements of Tlaib and Levin

"Once again, these extremists are pouring millions of dollars into a congressional race to try to ensure the Democratic Party advances the agenda of powerful corporations and the billionaire class."

Brett Wilkins ·


Missouri Hospital System Resumes Providing Plan B After 'Shameful' Ban

The health network had stopped offering emergency contraception over fears of violating the state's abortion law—a "dangerous" move that critics warned could become a national trend.

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Conquest': Native Americans Condemn SCOTUS Tribal Sovereignty Ruling

"Every few paragraphs of the majority opinion has another line that dismissively and casually cuts apart tribal independence that Native ancestors gave their lives for," observed one Indigenous law professor.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo