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Solomon writes: "Investors are pondering where to put their money this week after the sudden decline in the assessed value of presidential candidate Joe Biden."

Joe Biden. (photo: Frank Franklin II/AP)
Joe Biden. (photo: Frank Franklin II/AP)

After Biden's Sharp Decline, Investors Are Reassessing Other Blue Chips

By Norman Solomon, Reader Supported News

01 July 19


nvestors are pondering where to put their money this week after the sudden decline in the assessed value of presidential candidate Joe Biden.

On Wall Street and in other corporate quarters where financiers were heavily invested in Biden, hopes have eroded in recent days amid reduced investor confidence. Some prominent donors began to openly question the wisdom of devoting more capital to the national marketing campaign for the former vice president.

After the leading blue chip closed sharply lower at the end of last week, even declaring “my time is up,” many top investors felt overexposed and looked for shelter. Gathering new topline data and considering several prospectuses that had been previously submitted, investors are now reassessing assets and liabilities as well as potential growth in market share during the next quarter and beyond.

Venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, powerful CEOs and other wealthy individuals – sensing a political emergency that may require swift and decisive action – are moving to widen financing spigots for Kamala Harris. With contingency planning, there is elevated interest in Pete Buttigieg. One previously hot startup, Beto O’Rourke, is now considered to be too underperforming to warrant reinvestment.

The overarching goals are to quickly shore up capitalization of aligned political products and to implement sustained brand enhancement. While great appreciation remains for Biden’s nearly five decades of massive financial benefits to investors, some have concluded that he is now unreliable in view of current political turbulence.

Yet Biden is hardly in penny-stock territory. Many rich investors remain bullish on the former vice president. Politico reported Sunday that “sources say Biden walked away with a $1 million haul after two fund-raisers in San Francisco alone this weekend.” One of those gatherings drew about 200 wealthy guests to the backyard of a former Twitter vice president for global media, Katie Jacobs Stanton.

But an erstwhile Biden fundraiser, Tom McInerney, didn’t show up at the Stanton poolside event, even though he was listed on the invitation. McInerney, who was a member of Biden’s national finance committee, said he notified the Biden campaign on June 20 that he would no longer fundraise for it, citing the candidate’s recent fond comments about segregationist senators. (Actually, Biden had been on the record for many years with such warm reminiscences. And in a report first published on April 11, CNN had exposed Biden’s letters to racist senators in 1977 and 1978, seeking support for his legislation against school busing for desegregation.)

Quoting McInerney as saying “I would imagine I’m not alone,” CNBC reported on the day after Biden’s debate pratfall: “While McInerney is the first financier to publicly withdraw his support after Biden’s controversial round of comments, the loss is significant because it could be a harbinger of further defections.”

Overall, market conditions have abruptly changed, in the midst of fierce competition for big-investor dollars.

The New York Times did some candid reporting in mid-June under the headline “Wall Street Donors Are Swooning for Mayor Pete. (And They Like Biden and Harris, Too.)” The story explained that “the behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak … as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days.” And “with millions of dollars on the line, top New York donors are already beginning to pick favorites, and three candidates are generating most of the buzz” – Biden, Harris and Buttigieg.

The Times reported: “Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him.”

At the same time, the newspaper noted, “Not everyone is chasing Wall Street cash: Two candidates in the top tier of polls, [Bernie] Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have railed against the financial industry and opted against the kind of fancy fund-raisers with catering and $2,800 admission prices that lubricate the donor industry.”

The antipathy is mutual: Wall Streeters understand that Sanders and Warren would be bad investments anyway.

In sharp contrast, the Times summarized a bit of the investment frenzy: “Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fund-raiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.”

Deep-pocket investors are lined up from coast to coast. The night before she gave a speech at the California Democratic Party convention a month ago, Kamala Harris held a campaign fund-raiser at the San Francisco home of oil billionaires Ann and Gordon Getty, with the price of admission reportedly up to $28,000. While Harris was attending that fund-raiser, the San Francisco Chronicle observed, “Sanders was stopping by the Latino and labor caucuses at the convention.”

For his part, Biden skipped the California state party convention entirely. But the same weekend, he sent top aides to the same city to meet with “more than two dozen bundlers – people who raise money from high-dollar donors – at the San Francisco home of Sandy Robertson, co-founder of private equity firm Francisco Partners,” CNBC reported. “Other financiers at the private huddle included Richard Blum, an investment banker and husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein; veteran trial lawyer Joseph Cotchett; Steve Westly, founder of tech investment firm the Westly Group; Denise Bauer, former U.S. ambassador to Belgium; and Wade Randlett, the president of Dashboard Technology.”

Eager for lucrative stability in the electoral marketplace, corporate Democratic investors are keen to block threats to their dominance from the Sanders and Warren campaigns. Now that Joe Biden is looking shaky – with a damaged brand and a faltering business plan – prudence requires a new set of calculations. Biden may have outlived his usefulness. If “politics ain’t beanbag,” neither is political investment.

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Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched independent Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon is the author of a dozen books, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+65 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-01 12:40
From what I'm seeing, the big investors are moving over to Kamala Harris. As DA in Alameda county and then Calif Attorney General, she was always friendly to the financial elites. She helped the forclosure king Stephen Mnuchin escape prosecution. She's been friendly with George Soros. Many of Hillary Clinton's investors have been behind Harris for a long time.

Still, the big corporate investors are no where even close to the small donors who are behind Sanders, Gabbard, and Warren. These are the progressives in the race and they are winning the financing part of the race. When things get tighter, Harris' corporate backers will throw so much money behind her that she will probably surpass Sanders, but that won't win her many votes. We are all sick of the corporate control of Democratic party candidates. We won't vote for another corporate lackey.

Solomon is just great. He frames national elections just as they are -- investment opportunities. The really messed up thing is that a corporation can invest a few million and reap billions in return if their lackey gets into the white house.
+1 # laborequalswealth 2019-07-01 18:41
On target, RR, as usual.
+1 # Farafalla 2019-07-01 22:02
"We won't vote for another corporate lackey." Well done Raskolnikov. Keep greasing the skids for Trump. Keep driving a cleavage with the left/liberal vote divide. I'll fucking vote for Donald Duck to keep Donald Trump from another four years. But you always stoke the idea of people not voting, staying away. That's your troll job.
0 # kundrol 2019-07-01 17:57
I know this is satire, but the not funny kind. Scary and true and here we go with another 4 years of Trump which I doubt the planet will survive.
+11 # laborequalswealth 2019-07-01 18:38
Biden is only a front runner - or a runner at all - in the diseased mind of the DNC and their corporate masters, including the useless lamestream media. A Biden candidacy = Trump’s second term. Period.
+8 # Colleen Clark 2019-07-01 18:43
I haven't liked Biden from day 1. Why has it taken others so long to catch up. He has name recognition for sure, but now he's 76 and one day older than me, so I know what I'm talking about. Being a male Democrat with high name recognition is not necessarily good.
0 # No Go 2019-07-02 12:37
[quote name="Colleen Clark"]I haven't liked Biden from day 1. Why has it taken others so long to catch up. He has name recognition for sure, but now he's 76 and one day older than me, so I know what I'm talking about.

Biden is younger than Sanders; so, they are both too old.
Let's aim to elect someone with a stake in the future.
Inslee is under 70, Harris is under 60, Castro is under 50, and Buttigieg is under 40.
Any of them would be infinitely better than Agent Orange
+4 # Robbee 2019-07-01 18:55
After Biden's Sharp Decline, Investors Are Reassessing Other Blue Chips
By Norman Solomon, Reader Supported News
01 July 19

"$2,800-a-plate biden" is hillary 2.0! - jeb! 2.0! - corporate-bidde n biden! is successor "plate-a-dinner royalty!"

kamala a/k/a "biden kryptonite!" is saving the dem party from biden! - a crucial role!

while the $2,800-a-plate dogs, biden and kamala, are eating each other, there is room for progressive policies to steal the show!

also note that kamala, despite faults noted under this byline, is gonna drag biden, and establishment dems, kicking and screaming? if needed? toward "medicare for all!", equal-pay for equal-work, racial tolerance and a wholesome immigrant-human itarian-crisis solution! - and some real progressive cultural revolution! ain't all bad!

kamala would make a formidable veep for bernie! or elizabeth! - stay tuned!
+3 # tsyganka 2019-07-03 14:03
Re Harris: See my reply to dquandle. And in addition, there's the sexual harassment stuff:

1) Harris is "proud" to be endorsed by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D, FL), who's been accused of sexual harassment ($220,000 taxpayer-funded settlement) and bribe-taking and who employs a convicted money launderer.

2) She's also been endorsed by Rep. Al Green (D, TX), who was made Texas co-chairman of her campaign and has been accused of sexual harassment by a staffer.

3) Her longtime aide Larry Wallace (in both CA and her Senate office) committed sexual harassment. Wallace resigned from his senior advisor role in Harris's Senate office after the $400,000 settlement became public. Yet although Harris has known Wallace for 14 years, she said she was "unaware" of either the incident or the payment.

Also note that other candidates (notably Bernie) advocated Medicare for all, equal pay for equal work, racial tolerance, and a wholesome immigrant/human itarian crisis solution waaaaaaay before Harris appropriated them. Harris is a coward who never 'fights' for anything until someone else has made it safe - or until she's running for office again and the political windsock has changed direction. She does that Every Time.

She's dishonest, two-faced, and cruel. Again, see my reply to dquandle.
+1 # Street Level 2019-07-01 19:40
The smart money is on Bernie...but they're not smart, just greedy.

And Joe didn't want to run or be President. How many ways does he have to self destruct to prove it? The Dem's needed just needed another Party Puppet and it'll probably end up being Liz.
+4 # margpark 2019-07-01 20:01
I think Sanders would have beaten Trump in the last election. I even think Hillary lost because of her unpopularity with Sander's voters. And then she was always unpopular with anyone with a slight lean to the right. Always worried about her running for President with a big unpopularity with a wide range of people. Now I just wish I could predict who can beat Trump. I sort of think our Democracy depends on someone who can beat Trump.
0 # Robbee 2019-07-02 13:37
Quoting margpark 2019-07-01 20:01:
I even think Hillary lost because of her unpopularity with Sander's voters.

Now I just wish I could predict who can beat Trump. I sort of think our Democracy depends on someone who can beat Trump.

- according to polls! every major dem candidate beats dickhead!

how can you NOT trust the polls?

you must be proud that "Hillary lost because of her unpopularity with Sander's voters!"

recall that bernie endorsed hillary? and addressed huge crowds during her campaign? and worked harder to elect hillary? than hillary worked on her own campaign? that he had more stamina?

and that almost every, single one of bernie's "S U P P O R T E R S" (sic), here on rsn was smarter than bernie?

now here's something that YOU and ("We won't vote for another corporate lackey.") COMRADE can A L W A Y S - B E - P R O U D - OF !

Y O U - D E F E A T E D - H I L L A R Y ! - N O - S M A L L - F E A T !



N O - O N E - C A N - E V E R - R O B - Y O U - O F - Y O U R - E V E R L A S T I N G - V I C T O R I E S !


if it's not already too late for democracy? yeah? then i guess maybe it does?

bernie and i are existentialists!

bernie and i say "despair is not an option!"

we don't fight because we will win!

we fight because we must!
0 # E-Mon 2019-07-04 03:47
It's still early but I'd keep an eye and an ear out for Tulsi Gabbard. IMHO Trump won because he managed to convince a lot of people that he wasn't part of the same old tired two party political swamp of corruption. I'm reading in the comment section of Tulsi's Youtube videos that a lot of disappointed Trump voters are moving over to Tulsi for the same reason they voted for Trump. She may wear a "Dem" label but she's nothing like the majority of the sold out corporate dems of today. She's the first voice of sanity and humanity I've heard from either party in decades. Her message transcends party politics which is why, in spite of the way it may look now, and the corporate media's attempts to silence her, she could easily rise to the top once more people hear her message and get behind her. Doesn't accept corporate donations. 100% people powered. She's working for us. She's a true uniter... Tulsi 2020
+3 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-07-01 20:23
I don't see Biden dropping out. He will have the DNC and the SUPER DELEGATES behind him to the end.
+5 # Robbee 2019-07-02 13:30
I don't see Biden dropping out. He will have the DNC and the SUPER DELEGATES behind him to the end.

- to bitter end? - like jeb?

if corporate-bidde n biden does not rally by the next debate? - he's roast! - stick a fork in him!
0 # dquandle 2019-07-01 22:05
Now to the horrific Harris, raising her filthy gorgon head. The prison industry is creaming in their collective jeans for her. Even if Donald can't deliver permanent incarceration for refugees, Harris has shown she can fill prisons like there's no tomorrow. And she's a black woman, so its OK....
+3 # tsyganka 2019-07-03 13:50
- In 2013, Harris did not prosecute OneWest; in 2016 she was the only Senate Dem candidate to get cash from Mnuchin.
- In 2015, she defended convictions that were due to withheld evidence, a false confession, & perjury.
- She's an Israel-firster & opposes the BDS movement.
- She criminalized truancy, fined impoverished parents, & jailed them for their children's actions. This reduced parental supervision & increased poverty; a prison record makes it hard to get a job.
- She cruelly kept Daniel Larsen in a prison cage 2 extra years on a technicality, despite cops having targeted & framed him with false charges, & his incompetent lawyer being disbarred.
- As A.G., she refused to join other states in taking marijuana off Schedule I. Now (windsock) she says she supports its removal.
- She claims to want law & order, but refused to hand over names of cops whose false testimonies had led to convictions; also, the cops had histories of lying, misconduct, & being arrested.
- She opposed body cams, but flip-flopped on this in the debate (windsock).
- She opposed a bill requiring investigation of fatal shootings by cops.
- She tried to dismiss a suit brought by CA inmates; she lied that “there is no ‘solitary confinement’ in California prisons."
- Despite SCOTUS declaring that CA's crowded prisons inflicted "cruel & unusual punishment," she fought against releasing inmates early because prisons would "lose an important source of labor" (for firefighting, e.g., at $1/h).
+11 # wrknight 2019-07-02 07:53
This is just plain SICK! Treating political candidates as investment opportunities is solid evidence that big money has purchased our government and owns it lock, stock and barrel. Our government is no longer of the people, by the people or for the people. It is exclusively for the rich.
+6 # Salus Populi 2019-07-02 22:13
Been that way for decades, if not on some level forever. Way back in the salad days of PNAC, Ralph Nader suggested that politicians be required to wear patches or decals, like NASCAR drivers, with the logos of their sponsors on them.

If someone wants to start a drive for a Constitutional amendment to that effect, I'll be happy to support it!

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