Global Economy

Financial advisory firm tells clients Biden won't be moving too far left if he becomes president

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at McGregor Industries on July 09, 2020 in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.

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Financial advisory firm Signum Global Advisors told clients on Thursday that they aren’t convinced Joe Biden is going to be as progressive as some may hope if he beats President Donald Trump in November. 

The firm told their corporate clients in a note that they believe the policy recommendations put together by task forces filled with allies of Biden’s and the more progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders shows that the presumptive Democratic nominee doesn’t plan to side too often with those on the left side of the political spectrum if he becomes president. 

“The report is very aspirational; it pays lip service to some of the party’s more progressive ideas, though has few specifics about how ideas will be achieved, and generally repeats most of the moderate ideas from the Biden campaign’s website,” the note says. 

Signum has previously told clients that they expect Biden to defeat Trump and for Democrats to flip the Senate

The note, co-authored by the founder of Signum in Charles Myers, who was once the vice chairman of Evercore, along with the groups senior partner Lew Lukens, says that the reason they believe Biden won’t be following a progressive policy platform is due to what’s missing in the proposed outline, along with a lack of specifics for ideas that could impact the economy. Myers is an active fundraiser for Biden’s campaign for president and his company has offices in New York, Washington and London.  

The positive take by the Wall Street firm at Biden possibly becoming president comes as finance executives brace for a change to their business models under a potential new administration. Myers told CNBC that his clients, even after he sent out the note, expressed concern about the possibility of seeing their taxes go up. Biden, in a speech just outside his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Thursday warned business leaders that their corporate taxes are going up from 21% to 28% if he became president. Biden also said he plans to put an end to shareholder capitalism if he gets into the White House. 

Biden is ahead of Trump in most national polls, with a Real Clear Politics polling average showing the former vice president up nine points over the current commander in chief. 

Signum says some of the most notable missing progressive ideas include the Green New Deal, “Medicare for All, and the legalization of marijuana.  

“The result represents a very successful effort by Biden and his team to control the narrative and policy direction, while making just enough concessions to the progressive wing to avoid an open rift in the party,” the note says.  Sanders would clearly disagree with that stance, as he recently said that if those policies are implemented it would make Biden “the most progressive president since FDR” (former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt). 

Myers and his colleague also say that the minimal details in the recommended economic policies show that Biden is on track to stay away from any major progressive overhauls. The firm takes aim at the suggested tax policy, saying it’s “light on details” and further adding that the idea of reviewing mergers that took place under the Trump administration is missing a key mention of focusing on tech conglomerates. The big tech companies of Facebook, Amazon and Google have been under scrutiny by Trump and Republican lawmakers for what they believe is having too much power and accusing them of having a bias against their party. Many Democrats in congress have also been critical of the tech giants. 

Biden earlier in the day rolled out an over $700 billion “Buy American” campaign that would give a boost to U.S. manufacturing and technology firms. He said in his speech that Amazon needs to start paying federal income tax. 

“The days of Amazon paying nothing in federal income tax will be over.” 


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