Sen. Chuck Schumer swung by the 50th floor of Nasdaq’s Wall Street headquarters last month to schmooze with deep-pocketed donors who poured thousands of dollars into the New York Democrat’s campaign coffers.

During the breakfast fundraiser there was one thing left unsaid, but something virtually everyone wanted to know: whether Schumer will seek the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee next Congress.

It’s an issue of intense interest in New York and Washington and one fraught with major implications for both Wall Street and the three-term Democrat’s political future.

The choice will signify whether Schumer is aiming to recast his political career as Capitol Hill’s chief policymaker for his home-state industry — or is instead seeking to position himself as the next leader of a Senate Democratic Caucus that has railed against the excesses of Wall Street. And for the financial industry, it may mean having a chairman with a friendly ear — like Schumer — versus one who has gone to battle with the big banks, likely Sherrod Brown of Ohio.