Monday, June 10, 2024


He made them love him. According to Politico, they didn't want to do it:
Never mind: Wall Street titans shake off qualms and embrace Trump

Wall Street executives spent three years doing everything they could to distance themselves from former President Donald Trump. Now they’re busy coming up with reasons to vote for the guy.

Many high-dollar donors at banks, hedge funds and other financial firms had turned their backs on Trump as he spun unfounded claims that the 2020 election had been stolen and savaged the judicial system with attacks. Today, they’re setting aside those concerns....
Did Wall Street executives really spend "three years doing everything they could to distance themselves from former President Donald Trump"? Let's take a look at Politico's three examnples:
Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman — who once labeled the U.S. Capitol insurrection that followed a Trump speech on Jan. 6, 2021, “an affront to the democratic values” of the country — is once again one of the former president’s most important allies on Wall Street.
Yes, Schwarzman issued a three-sentence press release on January 6, 2021, that included those words. But as a New York Times story noted less than two weeks later, Schwarzman "stuck with President Trump ... and stopped short of criticizing him even after the Capitol attack." The January 6 statement never mentions Trump, and its insistence that "there must be a peaceful transition of power" seems like nothing more than the typical Wall Streeter's usual call for "stability."
Top financiers like hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, who called on the then-president to resign over the riot, and Citadel’s Ken Griffin, who dubbed Trump a “three-time loser” in elections, are considering offering their support.
Griffin backed Ron DeSantis for a while, then considered shifting his support to Nikki Haley. He's a Republican. Is it a surprise that he's backing the Republican nominee? And there's been friction between Ackman and President Biden since 2017, when they had words at an investor conference. Ackman set a million dollars on fire by giving it to Biden's hapless primary challenger Dean Phillips. That was after he called on JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to run for president, and also after he gave money to Robert Kennedy Jr.'s campaign. Is it safe to say that Ackman doesn't want Biden to win again? These guys may have kept their distance from Trump when he didn't seem like the best candidate to beat Biden, but now that it seems he actually could beat Biden, they're on board.

The Politico story makes clear that rich guys' support for Biden is for the most obvious reasons:
... Wall Street firms and Silicon Valley venture capitalists have grown increasingly antagonistic toward Biden as appointees like Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler move to tighten rules around markets and mergers.
This, by the way, is why we can't have nice things: For the first time in this century -- perhaps for the first time since the 1960s -- we have a president who wants to stanch the flow of money upward to the superrich. He hasn't made a lot of progress, largely because he's been blocked by Republicans and also by the pro-plutocrat (ex-)Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Yet even though he'll never be a Roosevelt, it's still too much for the Masters of the Universe. They won't tolerate a threat to even a tiny fraction of their current or future wealth.

Does the potential for fascism scare them? Nahhh.
Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization that represents the city’s top business leaders, said Republicans have told her that “the threat to capitalism from the Democrats is more concerning than the threat to democracy from Trump.”
I'm pretty sure we had capitalism in post-World War II America, even though tax rates on the wealthy and corporations were much higher than they are now. But the plutocrat class thinks otherwise. Meanwhile, as long as fascism doesn't threaten them, I'm sure they're fine with it.

And here's another reason why these guys might be embracing Trump:
... many Republican donors ... claim Trump’s conviction in New York, along with the cases brought by special counsel Jack Smith and Georgia prosecutors, were politically motivated and damaged the rule of law.

Eric Levine, a longtime GOP fundraiser and former Treasury official who had said he would never vote for Trump after the Jan. 6 riot, told POLITICO that the criminal cases brought against the former president were a factor in why he changed his mind.

Shaun Maguire, a partner at Sequoia Capital and former Hillary Clinton supporter, pledged $300,000 to pro-Trump efforts minutes after the verdict. His examination of the charges Trump faced had been a “radicalizing experience,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Trump and his supporters have argued that his indictments and recent conviction should make him more appealing to Black people. Maybe that's true -- not of Black people, but of plutocrats. After all, plutocrats regularly engage in skeezy behavior and use a lot of non-disclosure agreements. They generally think they should be above the law, and in this country they usually are. While Balzac didn't exactly say, "Behind every great fortune there is a crime," there's quite a bit of truth in that aphorism.

I think rich people feel for Trump because the sight of a rich guy in a suit actually being held accountable for his misdeeds horrifies them. Didn't The Wall Street Journal recently run an editorial arguing that, in effect, everybody has committed a crime that Alvin Bragg or someone like him could prosecute?

Actually, most of us don't commit crimes. But it may be accurate to say that our elites -- i.e., the Journal's target audience -- constitute a criminal class. Maybe, in addition to greed, that's why they're flocking to Trump again.

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