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As Gov. Ron DeSantis debates a possible 2024 presidential run, top Wall Street executives are pouring tens of millions of dollars into the Florida Republican’s upcoming re-election campaign.
Billionaire hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin, who recently moved his firm’s headquarters from Chicago to Miami, has invested $5 million in the Friends of Ron DeSantis, the state governor’s political action committee. Tudor Investment Corporation founder and CIO Paul Tudor Jones has signed a series of six-figure checks over the past three years, as have former Illinois governor and private equity executive Bruce Rauner and Interactive Brokers Chairman Thomas Peterphy.
DeSantis’ $142 million war chest – first reported on Monday by Bloomberg’s Bill Ellison and Mark Nickett — may reflect an appetite among GOP donors for a Trump spoiler, who will be better positioned to benefit from waning public enthusiasm about President Joe Biden’s next four years.
Despite prospering from Trump-era tax cuts, private equity and banking executives overwhelmingly backed Democrats in 2020 as Trump stoked conflicts over race, class and income inequality. Although Trump is seen as the clear front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, donors are on the rise sounded the alarm about him own the party — particularly when Trump-backed Senate candidates are vying in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
It is noteworthy that it is not only conservative brokers from Wall Street who line up behind DeSantis.
One of the largest checks cut to the gubernatorial PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, was a $500,000 contribution from Disruptor Inc.; a small investment firm led by former Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder.
Snyder relied on MAGA’s bonafides during last year’s botched primaries, and his firm’s heavy contributions to potential challenger Trump are notable given the extent to which he touted endorsements from former administration luminaries such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Ken Cuccinelli and Tim Murtaugh. In a not-so-subtle assessment of his opponent, Glenn Youngkin — the former Carlyle Group co-CEO who beat Snyder and then defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe — Snyder said he was the only candidate who campaigned for Trump in 2016 and 2020. and “put his money where his mouth is and … donated nearly $50,000 to Trump’s election.”
It’s worth saying: A $500,000 check endorsing the re-election of one of Trump’s potential rivals isn’t stopping Snyder — or Disruptor — from putting his money on the line again if the former president announces his intention to run in 2024. But it’s a sign of where some Republican donors have turned their attention in the world of finance — at least for now.
Snyder and Disruptor did not respond to requests for comment.
EVERYTHING IS TUESDAY — Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the day Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Organization staged the largest farm worker strike in US history — known as the Salad Pickers’ Strike. Is there discord in the ranks where you work? Send tips, story ideas and feedback to [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].
US manufacturing and services PMI released at 9:45 a.m. … New home sales data released at 10 a.m.
FIRST IN MM: FISCAL TRUST — Voters are feeling more optimistic about America’s financial stability after the Inflation Reduction Act. That follows the latest Financial Confidence Index from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which rebounded last month from an all-time low in June.
Voters are more likely to believe the national debt will increase in the next few years (30 percent vs. 22 percent in June), more optimistic about progress in debt reduction (42 percent vs. 36 percent), and less concerned about the debt situation (33 percent felt that it is on track, compared to 24 percent), according to the index.
COMMENT DEADLINES – August break? Not for those keeping up with the Biden administration’s flurry of proposed regulations and pending decisions from financial regulators.
Last: In a joint letter, the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association and the Bank Policy Institute opposed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s inquiry into customer service practices at major banks and challenged the legal basis for the investigation. Read the full letter here.
also: A joint letter of banking trade groups including the ABA, CBA, BPI and the Independent Community Bankers of America say the FDIC’s proposal to increase the rates banks pay to fund the deposit insurance program “rests on incomplete, outdated analysis.” ICBA said in a separate letter that the proposed changes would disproportionately affects small banks.
FINANCIAL EXCLUSION — A a new report from the Joint Economic Committee finds that nearly one in five American adults are either unbanked or underbanked, and of the roughly 20 percent who lack access to a bank account or rely on alternative financial services, a disproportionate share are lower-income people or people of color.
ADEYEMO’S TRIP TO INDIA — This week, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Wally Adeyema, is in India for meetings with his counterparts, as well as leaders of the financial services and energy industries. “[T]The world economy is at a turning point, the outcome of which will depend to a large extent on the economic relations between our two countries,” he wrote in the Economic Times of India published on Sunday.
Adeema said he plans to discuss infrastructure investment and energy security, including “steps we can take together to put downward pressure on energy prices” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (U.S. officials are trying to support a cap on the price of Russian oil.)
ACCELERATION OF IMPLEMENTATION OF SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA — WSJ’s Ian Talley: “The US has imposed a series of powerful sanctions on Russia’s economy to punish it for its invasion of Ukraine. Now American officials pressing them to be effectiveclosing loopholes, lobbying for support from other countries, and cracking down on people who help evade Russia.”
Deficit Reduction and the Fed’s Balance Sheet – WSJ’s Sam Goldfarb: “Reducing the Federal Budget Deficit provides a major incentive for investorsallowing the Treasury Department to reduce long-term debt issuance despite the Federal Reserve’s recent move to buy fewer bonds.
“The prospect of the Fed reducing its bond holdings, a policy known as quantitative tightening, or QT, has long worried investors. While it is too early to conclude that the Fed’s maneuver will not affect markets, the strong gains in stocks and bonds in recent months suggest that the relationship is more complicated than many analysts had assumed.
FORD LAYOFFS — WSJ’s Nora Eckert: “Ford Motor Co. confirmed on Monday that it is laying off about 3,000 employees and contract workers, marking the latest effort to cut costs as it moves to long-distance electric vehicles. On Monday, Ford sent an internal email to employees saying it would begin notifying affected employees and agencies of the layoffs this week.”
where? The workforce cuts mainly affect employees in the US, Canada and India, the WSJ reports. “About 2,000 of the targeted cuts will be salaried jobs at the Dearborn, Michigan, automaker. The remaining 1,000 employees are contracted to outside agencies, the company said.
THE BOOMTOWNS PANDEMIC IS COOLING — Bloomberg’s Paulina Kachera: “Housing sellers in pandemic boom cities lowering prices as they adjust their expectations to a rapidly cooling market. Take Boise, Idaho, where 70% of homes listed for sale dropped their asking price in July, more than double the 30% rate cut a year earlier. It’s also the highest share of price declines among the 97 U.S. metro areas analyzed by online brokerage Redfin.”
Meanwhile in the Hamptons: Houses with falling prices was 11% of the total Hampton market in July, nearly double the April level, Bloomberg’s Misirlena Egkolfapoulou reports.
A WALL STREET BUILT ON THE BLOCKCHAIN — WSJ’s Paul Vigna: “Wall Street’s biggest banks have largely avoided direct investment in cryptocurrencies. But there are many quietly working on blockchain integrationthe technology behind crypto, trading and other types of business.
“Goldman Sachs Group Inc. already trades some bonds and other debt securities for clients on blockchain-based networks such as Ethereum, and the bank is building its own blockchain-based trading platform. At JPMorgan Chase & Co. there is already a platform called Onyx.”
CALCULATION ON THE BLOCKCHAIN — Trade clearing services provider Depository Trust & Clearing Corp has launched a new blockchain-enabled settlement platform known as Project Ion, which is capable of processing up to 160,000 transactions per day. Murray Pozmanter, who is president of DTCC clearinghouse and heads its global business operations, said Project Ion distributed ledger technology can open “the door to exciting, new opportunities to improve efficiency, manage risk and save money for the industry.”
Jeremy Newell will return to the Banking Policy Institute as a senior research fellow effective September 1. Newell, a former Fed lawyer and partner at Covington & Burling, previously served as general counsel and chief operating officer of BPI when the clearinghouse and the Financial Services Roundtable merged in 2018 to create the new entity.
Renato Mariotti has joined the law firm of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner as a partner in the litigation and investigations practice in the Chicago office. Mariotti is a former federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s securities and commodities division and was previously a partner at Thompson Coburn in Chicago. He is also a legal columnist for Politico magazine.
The IPO market there is on its worst year in decades, leaving young companies with few options but to burn cash while waiting for the stock market to calm down. — WSJ’s Corey Drybush
Britain recorded its own the biggest drop in production in more than 300 years in 2020 as it faced the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a bigger recession than any other major economy, updated official data showed on Monday. — Reuters’ David Milliken