Wall Street Liberals: Warren ‘Better Form of Poison’ Than Sanders

Harris supporter predicts Wall Street types will stay home if Warren wins nom

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks on health care as Sen. Bernie Sanders (2nd L) listens during an event September 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) was called a "better form of poison" than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) by an ex-Wall Street executive resigned to her winning the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The executive anonymously told Politico to expect Warren to get the nomination and Wall Street to adapt to a potential Warren presidency.

"Wall Street is very good at accommodating itself to reality and if the reality is the party is going to be super-progressive, they may not like Warren but she's a better form of poison than Bernie," the executive said.

Robert Wolf, a venture investor and former adviser to President Barack Obama, told Politico she's "preferable for many reasons" to Sanders, if it comes down to one of the two in the crowded 2020 field.

"She's been very clear that she believes in fair capitalism. And the idea of promoting socialism I don't think is a winning strategy if the goal is to beat President Trump," he said.

Warren released a plan Thursday to "end Wall Street's stranglehold on our economy," which included sharper regulation of private equity firms, re-enacting the Glass-Steagal Act to wall off commercial and investment banks, and undoing Trump-era policies relaxing restrictions on the financial industry.

"Financial firms have helped push our economy badly off track," she wrote. "I want wages to go up, small businesses to thrive, and the economy to grow faster. To do that, I will stop the looting and make sure Wall Street serves the rest of the economy, rather than the other way around."

Warren has called herself a "capitalist" and insisted markets "are what make us rich," avoiding the "socialist" label embraced by Sanders. However, she made a name for herself in consumer protection and high-profile battles with big banks.

Politico reported Warren doesn't embrace Wall Street's tepidly positive response to her, with the worry Sanders could exploit it to his benefit:

The idea that bankers might not hate her as much anymore is not one that the Warren campaign embraces. Any expressions of support from the industry could be an incitement to Sanders supporters to suggest their candidate is the true progressive who would boldly bust up the nation’s largest banks.

"If you suggest even in the most minuscule way that Wall Street may be willing to entertain the possibility of Warren's success, she will need to go out and prove that she's more Bernie than Bernie," the former senior executive at a large Wall Street bank said.

One financier supporting Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) said "if she gets the nomination, some people just won't vote."

Warren raised $53,760 in the first quarter of 2019 from securities and investment industry, when she only brought in $6 million. She raised more than $19 million in the second quarter, but the total from the securities and investment industry isn't known yet.