Wall Street is a popular punching bag for politicians in an election season.
In the 2016 campaign, both Republicans and Democrats had in their official party platforms a plan to break up the big banks. In his own campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump ran an ad that criticized a "global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that into the pockets of a handful of large corporations."
Now Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pushing for a $2.75 trillion wealth tax. One key proposal is a 2% tax on every dollar of an individual’s wealth above $50 million.
As Warren has moved up in the polls among the Democratic candidates, the reaction from Wall Street and the financial industry has become louder and more antagonistic.
Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman called the presidential candidate’s proposal to put a new tax on the nation’s wealthiest people a plan to "penalize success" and said her ideas "made no sense." He has said the stock market would fall 25 percent if Warren gets elected.
"If this lady wins, we’re in big trouble," Cooperman told CNBC. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, in an interview on "60 Minutes," said Warren "vilifies successful people."
Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, echoed Dimon’s comments.
"Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not the country," Blankfein said in a tweet.
Blankfein speaks from experience, as in 2016, he was the target of the previously mentioned Trump ad.
It should be noted that Cooperman, a hedge fund manager, was once charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cooperman settled that case with the SEC in 2017, not admitting any guilt, and paid a $5 million fine.
The 2020 Democrats — in their efforts to inspire activists and wrest the nomination — are unrealistically raising expectations of what can be accomplished in office.
An abrupt reckoning with reality in 2021 would further undermine trust in democracy and, yes, the Democratic Party.