On September 28, Ken Moelis, founder and CEO of Wall Street advisory firm Moelis & Co., called it.
“I’m predicting that Donald Trump will win the election,” he said at a Bloomberg event.
He wasn’t the only Wall Streeter to predict the victory, but he was one of a small band. And his comments explaining the prediction, made in an interview with Business Insider a few days later, are worth reading again in light of Trump’s surprise victory.
Here’s the relevant extract:
Turner: Moving to some other comments you made recently, you said at the Bloomberg Most Influential Summit that you thought Trump was going to win the election. Why?
Moelis: Why is a good question. Just to give you a flavour, they said, “We’ve got 15 seconds left. Who is going to win?” Let me start be saying I’ve not supported anyone in the campaign.
Look, one of the great parts about my job is I travel the world. I was in India right before the Modi election, and I don’t think he was the frontrunner until the end. It was phenomenal to see what was going on there. I came away from there so energised about India, and I was pretty sure that Modi was going to win an election that wasn’t easy to see. I went to Brazil, and you get on the ground and you see it, and you could tell the government was in trouble two years ago. This was just going to sweep the government aside, and it was a force you could feel. Brexit, the same thing.
You see a wave of populism in the world. There is something wrong. This maybe because of technology. The ability of people to reach their own news sources now, and create different views, is really unbelievable, and it may be part of this. So I sense the same things here. There is a desire for change. There is a millennial generation that doesn’t like what they’re seeing, but doesn’t quite know what the solution is.
There is a desire for change. There is a millennial generation that doesn’t like what they’re seeing, but doesn’t quite know what the solution is.
What I thought was — and this was especially the case prior to the first debate — I thought in the United States, when you look at it, there is 42% that is solidly behind what is the status-quo candidate. That leaves 58%. Whether Donald Trump can organise that and convince that he is the right vessel for that is up to him.
In a sense, I’m not saying he is going to win; I should have said it is his to lose. That is more my feeling — it is his to lose. He could do that, but I think there is a movement out there. I really felt that way going into the first debate.
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