Update (0950ET): We're updating to add a tweet from @RudyHavenstein that brings everything full circle for Mr. Blankfein.
Lloyd, a major reason for Sanders' surge is because many Americans became disillusioned with a system where your corrupt hedge fund failed, yet somehow became a taxpayer-backed bank, got bailed out, and you became a billionare, all while the little guy got capitalism. $GS https://t.co/4EzA0UGsof— Rudy Havenstein fits the profile. (@RudyHavenstein) February 12, 2020
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Just when it looked like Bernie Sanders would become the first avowed Democratic Socialist to win the Iowa caucus, the Iowa DNC delivered a political slide tackle with their botched polling map, effectively robbing Sanders of a considerable amount of momentum
But Sanders and his band of white college-educated liberals and hackey-sacking "Bernie Bros" soldiered on from the disaster in Iowa and managed to clinch the first place finish in New Hampshire, sending a jolt of apprehension through corporate America.
As Sanders delivered his triumphant victory speech, one of America's most famous capitalist, a man who led "the Vampire Squid" Goldman Sachs during one of the most ruthless periods in the bank's history, decided to weigh in on twitter, which he uses pretty sparingly to share his views on politics and public affairs.
Lloyd Blankfein tweeted that if Sanders wins the nomination, "the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US."
If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US. Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around.— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) February 12, 2020
Sure, Blankfein might have a point: wasting hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to pay off private debts is obviously terrible public policy, unless you're doing it to stave off a devastating economic crisis. And at least when the banks got bailed out, they paid taxpayers back.
But we digress: There are many legitimate reasons to criticize Sanders. But a billionaire banker supervillain spreading hysterical nonsense about Russia to try and scare Americans away from supporting a socialist is just a little too on the nose, as Tom Wright, the WSJ reporter who blew the lid off the 1MDB scandal, reminds us:
This from a CEO who oversaw Goldman’s role in the subprime crisis, the Libya scandal and 1MDB fraud, and whose pay is still suspended as the bank investigates 1MDB. https://t.co/xQ87DHn3M2— Tom Wright (@TomWrightAsia) February 12, 2020
Health insurers have seen brief dips in their shares, but outside that, Wall Street hasn't exhibited too much concern about Sanders. The prevailing thinking, from what we can tell, is that if the Democrats don't kneecap him, he'll lose to Trump, unless the coronavirus outbreak really does plunge the world into a deep recession between now and November.
Blankfein, a registered Democrat, tweeted three months ago that Elizabeth Warren unfairly vilified Wall Street, even embedded a clever little dig at Warren's "native American heritage".
Speaking on CNBC Wednesday morning, Democratic political strategist Frank Luntz said he had a piece of advice for Blankfein: "Delete your twitter account...it's not a good look."
And not because Luntz disagrees. It's because a billionaire slamming Sanders plays right into the candidate's rhetoric about terrified billionaires lashing out and running scared. We must admit...he has a point.