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Wall Street execs muted as election results begin to come in

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 08:11

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From plush penthouse apartments on the Upper East Side to suburban mansions, New York's financial community gathered to watch election results on Tuesday with a mix of anxiety and relief.

[NEW YORK] From plush penthouse apartments on the Upper East Side to suburban mansions, New York's financial community gathered to watch election results on Tuesday with a mix of anxiety and relief.

The Wall Street work day was relatively calm as the US stock market advanced for a second straight day on expectations of a win by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, seen by Wall Street as more predictable than Republican Donald Trump.

But any deviation from the expected outcome of a Clinton win and at least the lower house of Congress still controlled by the Republicans could cause consternation for the city's financiers.

For the most part, hedge fund managers, bank executives and other financial big shots returned to their homes in New York City or nearby suburbs to watch television coverage in relative quiet with families or a few friends.

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Clinton fundraiser and donor Robert Wolf, the former chairman of UBS Americas, was skipping the glitzy official party being thrown by the Democratic nominee in favour of watching the results at home in Westchester, a suburban enclave north of the city.

One investment banker supporting Mr Trump said he was leaving work early because New York "will be a madhouse" and he preferred to watch the election with his children at their home in suburban New Jersey.

A few big Wall Street donors took the opposite tact, saying they planned on hitting the parties thrown by Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump, surrounded by a swirl of campaign staff, supporters and media.

Democratic supporter Marc Lasry, the billionaire credit investor, was expected to be among the large crowd on Manhattan's far west side at the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre, Mrs Clinton's hub for Tuesday night.

Lasry and other financial world donors were also expected to attend an earlier, smaller Clinton event at the New York Mercantile Exchange in lower Manhattan.

Mr Trump's band of Wall Street supporters stayed close to their candidate, too. Investors Anthony Scaramucci, Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross said they planned to be at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the campaign's official base for the night and where Trump is expected to give a victory or concession speech.

"Since I have already voted in Florida, I will be at the New York victory party," said Mr Ross, who is an adviser on Mr Trump's economic team.

Hours before the election results started rolling in, Mr Ross said by telephone: "I'm feeling good. Most of everything is in the margin of error, so that is a good thing. This is going to be tight".

Mr Scaramucci said he was preparing for a big night.

"We're getting ready for an unbelievable celebration tonight," he said in a live Periscope video broadcast from Trump Tower, the campaign's normal headquarters on Fifth Avenue.

Further uptown, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos was throwing an Election Day soiree at his Upper East Side penthouse condominium.

Mr Chanos, a staunch supporter of President Barack Obama, said he was expecting half his guests to be Republicans.

Mr Chanos, who runs Kynikos Associates and is best known for shorting stocks, said he would not be voting for any presidential candidate this election cycle but instead concentrated on the Senate and House of Representatives races.

REUTERS

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