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Christie, Clinton Could Vie for Wall Street Backing in 2016

Image: Christie, Clinton Could Vie for Wall Street Backing in 2016

By Lisa Barron   |   Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 11:08 AM

As the White House lauds this week's implementation of the so-called Volcker Rule, making risky trades by big banks illegal, a frustrated Wall Street is already looking to 2016, setting its sights on frontrunners Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton.

Both potential presidential candidates have been courted by business leaders hoping to work with the political establishment to spur economic recovery, reports Politico magazine.

Executives at Goldman Sachs recently invited a few hundred leading investors to the firm to hear Clinton talk about how bashing bankers is not the solution. "It was like, 'Here's someone who doesn't want to vilify us but wants to get business back in the game," one attendee told the publication, adding, "Like, maybe here's someone who can lead us out of the wilderness."

The industry has also embraced Christie, with Goldman's Lloyd Blankfein telling Politico at a recent Wall Street event, "I like him. I do. I think he's authentic, and I think he is a good manager and a good leader. It doesn't feel like he's pandering to a particular view."

The New Jersey governor was, in fact, courted by some of the leading Republican donors in July 2011, when he was asked to attend a meeting of about 40 of New York's richest men at the Racquet and Tennis Club in Manhattan, according to Politico.

At the meeting, arranged by Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger reportedly pleaded with Christi to run for president, while David Koch, the co-owner of Koch Industries and Paul Dinger, CEO of Elliott Management, spoke to the governor via conference call.

At the same time, Wall Street has also extended a welcome to other possible GOP presidential contenders; Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, reportedly flew to New York recently for a fundraiser hosted by lawyer Bob Giuffra and pollster Kellyanne Conway and attended by a group that included former Carlyle Group executive Ken Abamowitz.

Clinton has also met with the Carlyle Group, though, sitting down with David Rubenstein for a question and-answer session at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week and addressing the private equity firm's investor conference earlier this year, reports the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Christie, as chairman of the Republican Governor Association, headlined the Vermont Republican Party’s Winter Gala on Wednesday night, reports the Star-Ledger.

"It has been a long time since we’ve enjoyed this kind of enthusiasm, and we couldn’t be more proud. We have already sold more than 600 seats and this event promises to be the most successful VTGOP fundraiser in recent history!" Brent Burns, the state party’s political director, said in an online message.

Neither Christie nor Clinton has actually stated that they intend to run in 2016, and both face obstacles within their own parties.

Related stories:
S&P: Volcker Rule Pulls $10 Billion From Bank Profits
Quinnipiac Poll: Christie, Hillary in Dead Heat

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