President Trump is promising four more years of low taxes, light regulation and a laser-focus on the stock market. Yet professionals on Wall Street are shunning Trump and funneling staggering amounts of money to his opponent.
The securities and investment industry donated just $10.5 million to Trump’s presidential campaign and outside groups aligned with it, according to a new tally by OpenSecrets. It has sent nearly five times as much cash, $51.1 million, to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
That means Trump is losing the fundraising race among Wall Streeters by a slightly greater magnitude than in 2016. During that cycle, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton and groups aligned with her raised $88 million from the securities and investment industry, while Trump took in just $20.8 million.
In some ways, Wall Street’s preference for Democrats in the last two presidential cycles makes sense. After all, many people who work in the industry reside in deep blue cities including New York City, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.
“The bigger deal is where you live versus where you work. It’s as simple as that,” said Ed Mills, policy analyst at Raymond James.
In 2008 the securities industry donated $19 million to Barack Obama’s campaign, nearly doubling the $10.4 million raised by Republican Senator John McCain, according to OpenSecrets.
Blue Wave fears on Wall Street
And yet the fact that Trump has been outraised so badly — by a wider margin so far than Republicans were outraised in 2008 or 2016 — is surprising because analysts warn that his opponent could be a nightmare for Wall Street.
Consider that S&P Global Market Intelligence recently estimated that Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate could cause profits at America’s ten largest banks to plunge by a combined $7 billion each year.
Boutique investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) told clients Friday that the best-case scenario for big bank stocks is a Trump win with continued GOP control of the US Senate. That would signal a continuation of light regulation and low taxes.
The worst case, according to the bank: a blue wave that gives Democrats control of both the White House and the US Senate, paving the way to higher corporate taxes, tax hikes on the wealthy and tougher regulation on banks.
KBW is so worried about a blue wave that, incredibly, it ranks it as an even worse scenario for big banks than a contested election that causes severe market turbulence.
Let that sink in for a moment.
But all the big banks are backing Biden
But a CNN Business analysis of OpenSecrets research shows that Biden is beating Trump in fundraising from all of America’s big banks — in some cases by wide margins.
For instance, Biden has raised $156,584 from individuals at Goldman Sachs (GS), according to OpenSecrets. With just $11,943 in contributions, Trump ranks a staggering 45th among federal campaign recipients – well behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US Senator Lindsey Graham, Graham’s opponent Jaime Harrison and Andrew Yang, a CNN political commentator who has called for universal basic income.
But it’s not just Goldman Sachs, whose employees have historically supported Democrats. (Former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine later served as the Democratic governor and US senator from New Jersey.)
At Citigroup (C), Trump has been outraised by Biden as well as Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Yang, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and US Senator Doug Jones.
Trump has raised just $86,083 from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the largest US bank. At $379,057, Biden has raised three times as much as Trump from JPMorgan. Trump was also behind Buttigieg and Sanders at JPMorgan.
Biden has raised more than twice as much ($257,821) from Morgan Stanley (MS) as Trump has ($96,010), according to OpenSecrets.
The two candidates are closer at some other big banks. At Wells Fargo (WFC), Biden has raised $267,000, compared with Trump’s $194,000. Sanders, who ended his campaign in April, is just behind Trump at $189,000.
At Bank of America, Biden has raised $275,200, compared with Trump’s $164,911.
Biden was seen as ally of credit card companies
Compare this situation with 2012, when Wall Street sent $63.9 million to Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee and a former private equity executive, according to OpenSecrets. Obama raised just $19.4 million from the industry during that cycle.
Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics, which runs OpenSecrets, said Wall Street could have a certain comfort level with Biden. Not only did Biden serve as vice president for eight years, but for decades he represented Delaware, a state that is home to major credit card companies.
“Biden was seen for many years as a close friend of major credit card companies. He’s certainly not leading from the left wing of the party,” Krumholz said.
In other words, if Sanders or Senator Elizabeth Warren were the Democratic nominee, the fundraising totals could look very different.
It’s not just Wall Street that is snubbing Trump. The broader sector encompassing finance, insurance and real estate also tilts heavily blue, sending $86.7 million to Biden and outside groups that support the Democrat. By contrast, Trump has received only $50.4 million from the finance sector.
Trump is even narrowly trailing Biden in fundraising from real estate, the industry where he made a name for himself on the national stage. Biden and outside groups aligned with him have raised $19.8 million from real estate, compared with $16.7 million for Trump.
The fundraising totals suggest many in finance have decided they can live with a Biden presidency, even if that risks smaller paychecks.