Some smart Wall Streeters don't want to kill the Golden Goose
They see the value in letting everyone share in the eggs:
Jhoana Ocampo has worked in finance for 14 years. There, she is surrounded by people who fret about what could happen to their industry should Elizabeth Warren win the presidency and implement the tough regulatory policies that are so closely associated with her candidacy. And yet, Ocampo has given $400 to the Massachusetts Democrat and plans to max out to her presidential campaign, saying that Warren's policies resonate with her more than most.
“I’m just a firm believer that we all prosper when the middle class prospers,” Ocampo, who didn’t want her employer to be named and stressed she doesn’t speak on their behalf, told The Daily Beast. “Some people just don’t have the time; frankly they might not even care to really understand what she’s talking about. It could be perceived as being extreme until you look at what the plans really say. I might work in the financial services industry but I don’t have too many friends who have $50 million in the bank.”
Ocampo has also gone to fundraisers for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. But in Warren, she said, she saw something critically different. She’s “a very consistent advocate for the middle class,” she explained. “It was very important to me as I see that disappearing.”
Ocampo is part of what is so far a tiny, tiny minority of Warren donors in the financial industry. The senator, who has built a career warning about and legislating against the excesses of financial institutions—including crafting a consumer financial protection bureau to carry on that very mission—has reported receiving donations from only about 30 employees at the world’s top 20 investment banks.
It is a small crew composed of everyone from IT workers to risk managers at small firms and larger outfits. It’s also one that isn't quite yet comfortable trumpeting its politics. Ocampo, for starters, would only talk on the condition that her place of employment not be listed. Others declined to be named at all or declined to comment given their public-facing roles in various financial institutions.
One contributor, who shared information on the condition of anonymity, had worked in the financial industry for 20 years and had given to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in his first campaign for the presidency in 2015. This time though, he has given $500 to Warren, motivated by one major reason.
“She came out first of anybody for impeachment. I think that was the number one thing,” this individual said referring to Warren’s push for the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings after reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
At the heart of Warren’s appeal among this small sect of finance industry types is a larger disgust with the current White House occupant. Many Wall Street denizens continue to support President Trump, who has slashed taxes and regulations in ways that have been highly favorable to their industry. But he is not entirely beloved. The aforementioned donor said that politics comes up often at work because of “orange Jesus,” a reference to President Trump.
“You cannot escape it because there’s so much shit in the news on a daily basis that it has to come up at least once a day,” this donor said. Though the donor had given to Warren, he said he would be supportive of any Democratic nominee and surmised that former Vice President Joe Biden would not end up winning the nomination, despite his early lead in the polls. No one else with whom this person directly works has openly supported another Democratic candidate so far but the donor joked that he was waiting to get turned into human resources for the amount of time Trump comes up with some coworkers who back the president.
These people are in the minority to be sure. But they are the smart ones. The "let them eat cake" attitude of Wall Street, the selfish, short-term thinking and total lack of big-picture understanding of our society and culture shows them to be fools, just as they were back in 2008 when their world came crashing down. They should be backing Warren's reforms. It's in their interest to redistribute wealth to make a stable society.
Our society is anything but stable and it's getting worse every day. Backing this grotesquely divisive imbecile is a terrible mistake. They will not escape the ramifications of that any more than the rest of us will.