Wall Street veteran Charles Myers got a surprise Wednesday in his Park Avenue home office. The longtime Democratic donor and former vice chairman at investment bank Evercore was sitting near photos of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher when he read the names on Joe Biden’s new economic policy task force.

None of his financial industry friends were there. Myers saw one congresswoman, two labor leaders and five economists from academia or think tanks.

“I literally don’t know any of them -- I’ve never heard of them,” Myers said after Biden and vanquished rival Senator Bernie Sanders announced the members of the “unity” policy committees, part of a broader Biden effort to keep progressives engaged with his campaign.

Yet the banker isn’t bothered. Wall Street’s Democratic insiders, who have been cutting checks and winning access for decades, say they have plenty of sway in Biden’s orbit, despite his very public wooing of the progressive left. Some finance veterans have even begun to think about the spots they might land in Washington if Biden wins.

Myers, a bundler for the Biden Victory Fund and chairman of Signum Global Advisors, said keeping bankers off the task force was “a very tactical and very smart move.”

“But it doesn’t mean that, in the end, the selection of Cabinet members will be determined by these people,” Myers said.

Close Biden adviser Ted Kaufman, a former U.S. senator, said personnel decisions would be guided by the principles Biden has campaigned on. Biden has argued that he’s better suited than President Donald Trump to rebuild the economy in 2021, citing his oversight of the stimulus money released by the Obama administration when he was vice president.

“We’re going to have people involved in the administration who, as he’s said time and time again, make sure that we deliver an economic recovery that redounds to the benefit of the middle class -- not like the coronavirus stimulus and not like the Trump tax bill, where the majority of the benefits went to the top 1%,” he said.

Trump, who picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc. alumni to be his Treasury secretary and first economic adviser, has cut taxes for the rich and the companies they run, and is now consulting billionaires from the hedge fund and the private equity industries on reopening the economy as the coronavirus pandemic eases.

Lots of Ideas
If Biden wins in November, one top Wall Street executive is hoping to get a position in the Defense Department, and a veteran of a global bank wouldn’t be interested in anything but the top Treasury spot, they said, asking not to be named.

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