Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Andy Serwer discuss which CEOs support President Trump, and which support Joe Biden.
BRIAN SOZZI: All right, with the Republican National Convention kicking off tonight, the business world is taking sides in the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Our Editor in Chief Andy Serwer is with us now. Andy, some real splits here. Where's the money headed?
ANDY SERWER: You know, it's interesting because traditionally, Brian, of course the GOP has been a place where they could count on support from CEOs. But this particular election is, of course, different from any other election, and President Trump has seen his support from the business community wane to a degree because of the comments that he's made and because of his actions and because of a lot of the actions of the people in his camp.
Right now, the president is still outfundraising Joe Biden, but that becomes-- that is primarily because of small donors who have stood by the president and are sending him checks. But the business community has, to a degree, abandoned the president. He's still getting money from the likes of Steve Schwarzman, from Blackstone, Linda McMahon-- of course, formerly from the wrestling company-- Tim Mellon from that banking heir-- banking family-- but not as much as typical Republican candidates might have anticipated getting.
BRIAN SOZZI: Andy, what about Wall Street?
ANDY SERWER: Yeah, you know, it's interesting because Wall Street has actually tipped to a degree to Joe Biden. And, you know, historically, of course, Wall Street was a place that Republicans could count on, but over the past couple decades you've seen a lot of money from places like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan actually flow to the Democrats' coffers, and this year is not an exception to that. You still are seeing stalwarts-- Republican stalwarts like John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager who had a big fundraiser for Trump out at his place in South Hampton recently. But that guest list was kept very, very secret, and no one knows who was at that particular gathering, 50 or so guests. So the people on Wall Street who were supporting Trump, besides people like Paulson and Schwarzman, are doing it in a stealth mode right now, Brian.
BRIAN SOZZI: You know, Andy, do you think that support amongst CEOs would continue? You had Joe Biden do his first interview on ABC, and he said if the signs suggest that they need to such shut the economy down, he'll do it. But certainly that would impact a lot of the bottom lines that these CEOs oversee.
ANDY SERWER: Yeah, but I think that a lot of CEOs support that kind of move, Brian, because you have to be able to keep the population of the country safe because if you don't, then there won't be anyone to buy things from companies. I mean, it's a short-term pain versus long-term pain kind of thing.
I think CEOs would be wary, of course, about shutting the country down, but so would Joe Biden. I mean, he wouldn't do it, of course, unless it was absolutely necessary. So, you know, it's kind of a mixed bag there, I think.
BRIAN SOZZI: Andy, is the CEO group hopeful that under a potential President Joe Biden that he does enact more fiscal support and that might help their companies?
ANDY SERWER: Yeah, and I think that there's some people who have suggested-- Ed Mills from Raymond James, for instance, that potentially the market has been strong because some are anticipating a Biden victory, which would mean more stimulus. And so that, of course, would be a positive for the economy.
Now, I think it's no secret and Joe Biden said that if he is elected that he would roll back the Trump tax cuts. Having said that, I don't think that would be the first thing on his agenda given where the economy is right now. I don't think you're going to raise taxes in the teeth of a pretty strong recession. I do think he would increase stimulus probably in a way that Donald Trump wouldn't. And so there are those who see that as a positive for the markets and for the economy.