Far left wants a challenger for Hillary in 2016
Well, of course they do. Hillary just isn't liberal enough for the Occupy Wall Street faction of the Democratic party. Their preferred candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, may look like a school marm but has the populist chops to excite much of the base of the Democratic party.
Another possible candidate the far left would prefer over Hillary is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. He doesn't have the reputation of being an anti-Wall Street shark, but his presence in the race would have much the same effect as a Warren candidacy; it would keep Clinton from manuevering to the center during the primaries.
It is Warren that Wall Street fears the most. And they'd be shaking in their boots if a Warren-Rand Paul race were to materialize.
And the fear is not only that Warren, who channels an increasingly popular strain of Occupy Wall Street-style anti-corporatism, might win. That is viewed by many political analysts as a slim possibility. It is also that a Warren candidacy, and even the threat of one, would push Clinton to the left in the primaries and revive arguments about breaking up the nation's largest banks, raising taxes on the wealthy and otherwise stoking populist anger that is likely to also play a big role in the Republican primaries.
"The nightmare scenario for banks is to hear these arguments from a candidate on the far left and on the far right," said Jaret Seiberg, a financial services industry analyst at Guggenheim Partners. "Suddenly you have Elizabeth Warren screaming about 'too big to fail' on one side and Rand Paul screaming about it on the other side and then candidates in the middle are forced to weigh in."
A spokesperson for Warren declined to comment on whether she would consider a presidential bid against Clinton, though Warren has previously said she has no plans to run. People close to Warren note that she signed a letter from female Democratic senators urging Clinton to run in 2016. And Warren associates, mindful of any appearance of creating the narrative of a Warren-for-president campaign, have corresponded with Clinton associates to stress that they didn't fuel the New Republic story by Noam Scheiber.
Yet the stakes for Wall Street and corporate America of a Warren campaign - and possible victory - are hard to overstate.
She almost certainly would bring fresh scrutiny to Wall Street scandals by arguing that even giant settlements - like the $13 billion JPMorganChase is expected to pay to end probes into its mortgage practices - are nowhere near enough to make up for the damage done during the financial crisis.
There are ways to reform Wall Street and then there are ways to destroy it. Warren would be the Stay-Puft Marshallow girl of the financial industry. We're in the midst of "reforming" one sixth of the American economy with Obamacare. Do you think that Warren would bat an eye at trying to "reform" financial services which represents one fifth of the economy? Yeah sure - because Obamacare is working out so well, eh?
The center is not holding. Right and left populists are going to affect the 2016 primaries in a big way. They may even win if conditions are right, i.e. another recession or financial meltdown. Warren believes the rich are too rich and will promote confiscatory policies that will almost certainly bring investment and economic growth to a standstill. She and her acolytes won't care about that. Their goal is to repair income inequality - and if the economy has to be made a casualty in the pursuit of that goal, so be it.