The head of the largest derivatives marketplace in the world, CME Group, told an audience at a financial industry conference that it doesn’t matter if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump becomes president because both understand the industry and are only criticizing it during the campaign for political reasons.
“I don’t care if it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton,” CME Group Executive Chairman Terry Duffy said on June 9 in response to a question from an analyst about how the election will impact the industry. “I care who’s around Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, who’s in the administration, who is helping them make the tough decisions to keep America on top, that’s to me what’s critically important.”
Both Clinton and Trump have criticized the financial industry while on the campaign trail. “Wall Street can never be allowed to once again threaten Main Street, and I will fight to rein in Wall Street,” Clinton said in February.
“The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder,” Trump said last August. “They’re paying nothing [in taxes] and it’s ridiculous. … The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.”
Duffy, speaking at the Sandler O’Neill Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference, said he had confidence in both of the candidates nonetheless.
“So I think either way, what’s important is the United States keep its status as the financial services leader. I think both of those two individuals understand that,” he said. “Contrary to any rhetoric you hear during the primary season, because they have to make that type of rhetoric, but I do believe they understand the benefits to our national security which financial services provides nice things to America.”
Duffy also discussed the two candidates’ personalities.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see a man with a bigger ego walking into the White House,” Duffy said of Trump. “But I’ve seen a lot of presidents walk into the White House with zero ego, and their ego gets gigantic soon as they walk in. So he might have a reverse effect that no one’s talking about.”
“With Secretary Clinton, I think she has great experience in government,” he remarked. “I think that she’ll put really good people around her, and I think she’ll make sound diplomatic decisions on behalf of the country.”
Clinton had kind words for Duffy during an economic address she gave in July 2015. “I think we should listen to Terry Duffy,” she said, citing a 2013 Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote where he conceded that some in the financial sector had failed to take properly into account the “concerns of Main Street.”
The same month that Clinton gave that speech, Duffy testified before Congress, calling on lawmakers to lift the federal ban on crude oil exports because of its impact on the financial markets. Five months later, Congress did just that. Environmentalists decried the move as a “disaster for the climate.”
Correction: June 18, 2016
The headline and summary for an earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Duffy as a CEO.