Trump or Cruz? No sweat, say Wall Street's big Republican donors

Investor Rob Arnott, a libertarian who supports Cruz and despises Trump, has a theory about why his moderate peers might accept the billionaire.

“The Republican establishment views Trump as someone sufficiently inept that he’ll need them, and they can control the agenda,” said Arnott, who heads asset management firm Research Affiliates LLC, a sub-adviser for Pacific Investment Management Co. “Their view is: Better somebody who has no obvious core political values.”

There’s also reason to imagine Cruz wouldn’t be so bad for Wall Street. Even though he mocked “New York values” at a debate this month, saying the city is “focused around money,” he’s asked for some of it. It cost $10,800 to be on the host committee when Cruz raised funds at Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell last month, according to Politico.

Cruz has an appreciation of the industry, according to Mike Ference, a lobbyist and partner at S-3 Group in Washington, where his recent clients include JPMorgan Chase & Co. and McGraw Hill Financial Inc.

“He likes to have a populist bent,” said Ference, a senior policy adviser for Eric Cantor when the Virginia Republican was House Majority Leader. “But in reality he understands how the markets work, he understands what makes them move.”