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Follow the Money

January 29th, 2004 - 11:11 am

John Kerry is leading the Democrats in scoring money from the Wall Street money men, but

before Kerry won in Iowa and New Hampshire, former Vermont governor Howard Dean was seen as the Democratic front runner, not Kerry. And while its still very early in the game to call the ultimate front runner, many see Kerry as now assuming that role, and this makes some on Wall Street a little nervous.

“On one hand, he seems more palatable to Wall Street than Dean, in that his positions on trade and taxes are more moderate,” said Greg Valliere, political economist and chief strategist at Charles Schwab Washington Research Group.

“On the other hand, I think the markets weren’t paying all that much attention to the Democratic race two weeks ago when it seemed like Dean would win, because in a Dean vs. Bush race, it was widely assumed on Wall Street that Bush would sweep,” Valliere added. “But this changes things. Kerry’s no Michael Dukakis. A Kerry-[John] Edwards ticket would be more threatening to Bush than Dean.”

Keep an eye on this one. Wall Street loved Bill Clinton, but I’d wager most of that support was due to just two things: incumbency (Wall Street loves predictability) and Treasury Secretary Bob Ruben.

Bush is probably less well-loved, if only because of the so-so economy and all the red ink being spilled on his veto-less watch.

And Kerry? He’s been good in the Senate on free trade, but less so on regulatory matters. If he’s making Wall Street nervous already, then look out.

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