Trump’s Wall Street fans cheer tight contest

Reuters New York | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 09, 2016


Wall Street supporters of Republican Donald Trump cheered his early lead in swing states on Tuesday, which countered expectations that Democrat Hillary Clinton would move ahead swiftly.

Gathered in the bar at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, bankers and brokers mingled with dozens of other Trump supporters, many of them wearing baseball caps emblazoned with his rallying cry “ Make America Great Again.”

They cheered and raised their glasses every time Fox News projected a state win for their candidate.

When Mike Pence, Trump's vice presidential running mate, walked through the lobby at Trump Tower, a small crowd ran out from the bar to chant “USA! USA!” at him.

“I'm feeling pretty confident,” said one man, who said he worked at Ameriprise Financial. “All the momentum is on his side,” he said, sipping on a Manhattan cocktail. He declined to give his name.

In general, Wall Street has supported Clinton with buckets of cash, seeing her as a status quo candidate. Trump, meanwhile, is feared by many financiers as someone who could disrupt global trade and damage geopolitical relationships.

At PJ Clarke's bar on Third Avenue, the mood was more somber as people gathered to watch the results.

“It's getting tight,” one Clinton-backing investment banker said, between sips of bottled beer.

The neck-and-neck race sent the U.S. dollar swinging wildly in Asian trade and pulses racing in plush penthouse apartments on the Upper East Side and New York suburban mansions.

Many hedge fund managers, bank executives and other financial bigshots eschewed Manhattan bars, preferring instead to gather at their homes in New York City or the suburbs to watch TV coverage in relative quiet with families or a few friends.

On the Upper East Side, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos said his Republican guests were in a “good mood” at an election night party held at his penthouse condominium.

Chanos, a staunch supporter of Democratic President Barack Obama, said he had not voted for any presidential candidate this election cycle but instead concentrated on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives races.

A few big Wall Street donors were planning on hitting the parties thrown by Clinton and Trump, surrounded by a swirl of campaign staff, supporters and media.

Democratic supporter Marc Lasry, the billionaire credit investor, was expected to be among the large crowd on Manhattan's far west side at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Clinton's hub for Tuesday night.

Trump's band of Wall Street supporters were staying close to their candidate, too. Investors Anthony Scaramucci, Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross said they planned to be at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the campaign's official base for the night.

“Since I have already voted in Florida, I will be at the New York victory party,” said Ross, who is an adviser on Trump's economic team.

Hours before the election results started rolling in, Ross said by telephone: “I'm feeling good. Most of everything is in the margin of error, so that is a good thing. This is going to be tight.”

Scaramucci said he was preparing for a big night.

“We're getting ready for an unbelievable celebration tonight,” he said in a live Periscope video broadcast from Trump Tower.

Published on November 09, 2016
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