Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon says ‘it’s too early’ for markets to react to Bernie Sanders’ booming campaign

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Crains New York
  • Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon thinks it’s “too early” for markets to worry about a Bernie Sanders presidency, telling CNBC on Wednesday, “It’s not something we’re spending a lot of time worrying about.”
  • The chief executive added that, even if Sanders wins the nomination, he would need to win the presidential race and work with a potentially divided Congress before passing any market-roiling policies.
  • Solomon also shrugged off a late-Tuesday tweet from his predecessor Lloyd Blankfein that admonished Bernie’s campaign, saying “that was Lloyd being Lloyd.”
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It’s “too early” for stock markets to worry about a Bernie Sanders presidency, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said Wednesday.

Investors and analysts alike are closely monitoring developments in the 2020 presidential race to determine how assets could react to a shakeup in US leadership. Sen. Bernie Sanders bolstered his position as an early frontrunner for the Democratic nomination after winning the most votes in New Hampshire’s Tuesday primary.

The senator is running on a platform that includes corporate tax hikes and a progressive spending agenda. While some fear a Sanders win in November would reverse President Donald Trump’s market-friendly policies, Solomon told CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa there are several developments to monitor before asset prices should respond to such an administration.

“The markets at the moment don’t care about any of this, because it’s too early,” he said. “There’s also a huge difference between campaigning platforms and rhetoric and then ultimately getting elected, becoming president and having the right mix of who is in Congress and the Senate to actually create legislation.”

The 2020 US presidential election’s outcome is the most-cited risk to markets among fund managers surveyed by Bank of America in January. The November event took the top spot from the US-China trade war, which dominated the list of market risks since it began in the summer of 2018. UBS‘s chief investment strategist wrote in a November note that the healthcare, technology, energy, and financial sectors all stand to face greater volatility in the months before election day.

Still, Goldman’s chief executive isn’t dwelling on the political event, saying, “It’s not something we’re spending a lot of time worrying about.”

Solomon’s comments arrive one day after his predecessor tore into Sanders’ presidential bid. Former bank CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted late Tuesday the senator would “ruin our economy,” and that, should Sanders be nominated, “the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US.”

Solomon shrugged off the statement, adding “that was Lloyd being Lloyd.”

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