Big banks are unnerved by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) rise in Democratic circles, which is raising the prospect of her running for the White House.
Supporters who have launched campaigns to push her into the race as a rival to Hillary Clinton launched a protest in Warren’s name outside Citigroup's Manhattan offices on Thursday, which only added to the industry’s anxiety.
The demonstration came a week after Warren led a populist uprising against changes to the Wall Street reform bill that were included in the $1.1 trillion government-spending bill.
Despite support for the package from the White House and Republican leaders, Warren nearly took it down — sending a strong signal of her influence on Capitol Hill.
Banking lobbyists interpret her actions as a bid for influence in the Senate, and also believe it could be a sign she is re-thinking her repeated statements that she will not run for the White House in 2016.
GOP strategist Ford O'Connell said that Warren plays well to the Democratic base, but that's about it.
“If she can't cogently explain how her ideas are going to put Americans back to work - especially blue collar voters who feel the economy has passed them by - mainstream voters will discount her as just another socialist crackpot,” O'Connell said.