Wall Street lost a close friend this week.
As BI’s Linette Lopez explained on Wednesday, the defeat of Eric Cantor, to primary opponent Dave Brat, meant that one of Wall Street’s most reliable allies within the GOP was gone. And not just gone, but replaced by a candidate who specifically made being anti-Wall Street part of his campaign.
The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza went as far as to describe Dave Brat the Elizabeth Warren of the right. On the trail, Brat lamented the fact that no Wall Street bankers went to jail for the crisis of 2008.
But the story is bigger than just Cantor having close ties to the finance industry.
As Jeremy W. Peters and Shaila Dewan explain in today’s NYT, there are fewer and fewer members of the GOP who can be seen as reliable allies for big business. As such, priorities such as the refunding of the national highway trust fund and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (which provides loan guarantees to foreign buyers of domestic products, benefiting large firms like Boeing) are in a lot of trouble.
When the crisis hit in 2008, populism surged, as you would expect in a period of Wall Street bailouts and sky-high unemployment. Since then, the fever has come down. But it hasn’t gone away, and it increasingly looks like anger toward Wall Street was not just crisis-era phenomenon but a potent element of the new political landscape (on both the right and the left).
Politically, Wall Street weathered the storm alright. But the long-term trend looks grim.