Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders laughed out loud at Wall Street’s attempt to blame his presidential candidacy for the drop in global markets.
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Transcript via ABC’s This Week:
RADDATZ: Senator Sanders, you said something to your supporters yesterday that caught my ear. You quoted with pride a “Wall Street Journal” article calling you a viable candidate, saying, “It appears that we are making Wall Street a little bit nervous, and that’s a good thing.”
The article was quoting Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman who said the markets are unsettled because of you, a slowdown a China, and geopolitical risk. You’re laughing but I want to know why is it a good thing that markets are in turmoil? People have their —
SANDERS: Well, first of all —
RADDATZ: — pension funds in the market. Lots of middle class people have their 401(k)s invested in stock.
RADDATZ: It’s not just Wall Street.
SANDERS: Martha, the reason —
RADDATZ: Everybody’s affected by this.
SANDERS: The reason that I am laughing is that I fully admit to having a big ego. Like many other politicians. But the idea that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, because that it has growing support all over this country, is unsettling world markets, is absolutely absurd.
The point that I was making is we are getting the attention of Wall Street. Wall Street’s greed and recklessness and illegal behavior drove this economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Millions of people lost their homes, their life savings, and their jobs. And, yes, I believe that we have to break up the major financial institutions. We have to reestablish Glass-Stegall. And that we are now gaining the attention of Wall Street tells me that our campaign is doing very well.
The reason the market is dropping is because Wall St. has been out of touch with economic reality for years. The same dynamic that caused the Great Recession is alive and well today. Wall Street has become untethered from economic performance is all about pumping up stock prices to make money.
The decline in oil prices has been an unwelcome dose of reality. When oil prices go down the market goes down. Last Friday’s surge in the stock market was literally caused by the weather. Cold weather in the U.S. and Europe caused oil prices to rise, which cause a 2% rise in stock prices.
No presidential candidate can shift the stock market.
What terrifies Wall St. isn’t the political polls, but the message that Sen. Sanders is campaigning on. The fact that Bernie Sanders is doing well in a couple of primary states means nothing, but the millions of mobilized people who are concerned about the greed and lack of regulation of Wall Street is a scary thought for those who make money in a sector that has become driven by whim, hope, and fear.
Wall Street should be worried, not about Sanders’ standing in the polls, but that his message is resonating and given a voice to the popular idea that Wall St. greed must be reined in and better regulated.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association