Bernie Sanders would ‘ruin our economy’ says Lloyd Blankfein


Blankfein wrote: “If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US. Sanders is just as polarising as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military.

“If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around,” he added, referencing that country’s efforts to support Trump in 2016.

The post quickly attracted thousands of comments from Sanders’ supporters — some of whom invoked Goldman’s position at the center of the 2008 financial crisis.

“This is what panic from the Wall Street elite looks and sounds like,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, responded in a tweet Wednesday morning.

Blankfein’s comments reflect the growing unease among corporate players and investors about the likely Democratic contenders for the presidential nomination. The narrow victory in New Hampshire has helped position Sanders as a front-runner with the most enthusiasm on the party’s most liberal wing. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, was second, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota surged to third, with those two candidates splitting the centrist vote.

Sanders’ performance through the first two primary contests has pushed him ahead of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the race to grab voters looking to shake up the status quo.

Both candidates have been watched warily by Wall Street for months because they would represent a stark reversal from Trump’s economic agenda, which has been centered on cutting taxes and rolling back regulations.

Last year, Sanders proposed the creation of a wealth tax on the richest Americans to help pay for his “Medicare for All” health program, universal child care and an overhaul to the housing market that would include big subsidies for first-time homebuyers.

Sanders, when asked if billionaires should exist in the United States, said, “I hope the day comes when they don’t.”

Blankfein, a former investment banker who left the top job at Goldman Sachs in 2018 after a 12-year tenure, has not let the attacks on corporate America go unnoticed and has tussled online with both Sanders and Warren.

Bernie Sanders has Wall Street’s elite taking notice.Credit:AP

In November, Blankfein took aim at Warren after being featured in one of her campaign ads, saying “vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not for the country.” In February 2019, Sanders and Blankfein sparred on Twitter over corporate stock buybacks, which Sanders wanted to limit.

The antagonism between Blankfein and Sanders goes back years. In 2012, Sanders targeted the then-chief of Goldman Sachs in a speech from the Senate floor, labeling him the “face of class warfare” for supporting cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Other business chiefs have weighed in. Leon Cooperman, the billionaire money manager of the Omega Family Office, a critic of Warren, said in an October 30 letter to her that was made public that her “vilification of the rich is misguided.” Bill Gates, another billionaire, expressed his concern in November about a wealth tax.

Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential nominee, has also criticised Sanders. Footage from an upcoming documentary about her showed her ripping into Sanders, saying, “Nobody likes him; nobody wants to work with him; he got nothing done. He was a career politician.”

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Blankfein, a registered Democrat, supported Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and has donated to Republicans in the past. He said in October at a CNN conference that he did not see himself reflected in the current party.

Blankfein, a rare tweeter, used his first Twitter post to slam Trump for leaving the Paris climate accord in 2017.

The New York Times

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