Citi Warns of a ‘War on Wall Street and Wealth’ in the 2020 Election

Felice Maranz
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Citi Warns of a ‘War on Wall Street and Wealth’ in the 2020 Election

(Bloomberg) -- The road to the White House in 2020 may entail a war against Wall Street and wealth itself, as polling results encourage more candidates to cast a jaundiced eye toward the financial world, Citi warned in a note to clients.

Some candidates are prioritizing greater accountability for big corporations, while others are concerned that “loosening the reins might foment another financial crisis,” a Citi team led by economist Dana Peterson wrote. Still others believe “banks and their executives were not sufficiently penalized for the 2008-2009 crisis” and that big companies are anti-competitive and “antagonistic towards consumer protection.”

Banks and wealthy individuals are viewed by others as a revenue source for “re-distributional policies, including further tax relief for low- and middle-income persons, and funding priorities from paid leave to jobs programs,” Citi said.

What should investors do? Understand “what policies can be achieved via legislation versus regulation,” Peterson said. As any president may find law-making -- including altering taxes -- difficult, markets should instead focus on “proposals that can be implemented via regulatory channels, including through executive orders and presidential proclamations.”

All eyes on Tuesday are turned to any comments President Trump may make on trade in a speech set for noon at the New York Economic Club. U.S. stocks gained before the remarks.

On Friday, Ally Invest’s chief investment strategist Lindsey Bell said financial stocks may struggle as the U.S. presidential election gathers steam, with Democratic candidates likely to target big banks in the wake of Trump’s looser regulations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Felice Maranz in New York at fmaranz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Scott Schnipper

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