« Are you expecting a wage freeze this year? | Main | The economics of LeBron James' decision »

July 08, 2021

With reform bill looming, Wall Street plans political payback

No group of the working public has been raked through the coals lately as much as those in the financial trade, specifically: Wall Street traders.

And, to be fair, this reputation is not totally undeserved. Don’t believe me? Well, how about last April when leaked internal emails revealed Goldman Sachs staffers were knowingly forcing “sh*tty” deals – in their words – onto their clients?

But I’m sure there’s a saying out there with the moral of, “don’t trifle with powerful men.” And Wall Street, regrettably, is quite a dominant force.

Speculation broke today that Wall Street is looking to fight back against its bum rap of late, in particular sticking it to many of the Democrat politicians who’ve made headlines blasting greedy traders over the last 18 months.

With the U.S. financial reform bill arriving on President Obama’s desk in the coming weeks, Politico reports that Wall Street’s top players are “warning Democrats to brace themselves” for the next chapter in the government’s fight to stunt the white-collar biz.

The reform bill, which aims to limit banks’ ability to earn money trading with their own capital, could prompt Wall Street to renege on several big money political contributions and backings.

In essence, any Democrats who support the bill may not find an open hand from banks when it comes to providing campaign cash and hosting fundraisers.

“I think at least in the short term there is going to be a great deal of frustration with people who were beating the hell out of us – then turning around and asking for money,” a senior Wall Street exec told Politico.

Of course, this kind of cash hostage game shouldn’t entirely surprise Democrats who slammed Wall Street for years. You can’t exactly whip someone in public and expect a hefty wire transfer in private.

That said, though, you have to at least hand it to Wall Street. They’ve been – again, perhaps deservedly so – painted as Public Enemies No. 1, so at least they’ve embraced that role and decided to play bad guy.

There is no more curtain to Wall Street. We know who they are. We know what they value. And we know what they’re capable of.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...