Steadily Gaining Ground in Polls, Elizabeth Warren Embraces Wall Street Fear of Her Campaign
Her poll numbers have risen steadily in recent weeks but Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night celebrated a contingent of voters who are hoping she doesn’t win the 2020 presidential election: Wall Street executives.
Financial reporters Jim Cramer and David Faber remarked on CNBC Tuesday that CEOs in the financial sector are afraid of new regulations and accountability they may face if the Massachusetts Democrat becomes president.
“It’s a suboptimal situation for the banks” if Warren wins the election, Cramer said.
“When you get off the desk and talk to executives they’re more fearful of her winning,” Cramer added, saying he’s heard bankers say, “She’s got to be stopped.”
“I hear it too,” Faber said, adding that banks are “being implored to do [mergers and acquisitions] now if you want to get something done.”
“Come early-to-mid 2020 if Elizabeth Warren is rolling along, everybody’s going to be like, ‘That’s it,'” Faber said.
On Twitter, Warren expressed pride in being a candidate that executives of powerful financial companies fear:
Other observers remarked that Warren could benefit from using Cramer and Faber’s comments in an ad for her campaign, thereby embracing her reputation as a determined foe of Wall Street who has frequently chastised powerful bankers on Capitol Hill and has pushed for tougher regulations on the industry.
Before being elected to the Senate in 2012, Warren in 2010 helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was set up to ensure working Americans aren’t defrauded by the banking sector. The agency has provided $12 billion to nearly 30 million Americans who had been victimized by predatory student loan schemes and credit card companies. It also slapped Wells Fargo with a $185 million fine in 2016 for opening fraudulent accounts in customers’ names.
In 2017 Warren told former Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan, “You should be fired” for overseeing the company’s aggressive culture when the fake accounts were opened.
The senator has also sponsored legislation to hold executives accountable for their banks’ wrongdoings. In July she released a plan to overhaul and strengthen regulations on the private equity industry, enact a new Glass-Steagall Act to prevent the kind of Wall Street speculation which contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown, and impose new limits on executive compensation.
Warren has recently been surging in polls. An NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist survey released Wednesday showed that 75 percent of respondents had a favorable view of her, compared to 71 percent for former Vice President Joe Biden and 66 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
A Reuters poll released Wednesday also found that Warren’s approval rating rose more than any other Democratic candidate’s in the last month. Eleven percent of respondents said they plan to vote for the senator in the primary, up three points from last month. Biden and Sanders both had higher approval ratings than Warren, but their support stayed the same and dropped by two points, respectively.
On CNBC, Faber acknowledged that in the past, the country has benefited when the federal government has held banks to account.
“There were these hearings in the 30s where they brought rich people in front of Congress,” Cramer said, referring to the Pecora Commission, which exposed bankers’ business practices ahead of the 1929 crash.
“Well, about 20 years later we had the least discrepancy in income, 50s and 60s right?” Faber replied.
“The Warren campaign should play this clip everywhere,” one supporter said of Faber’s comment.