The Democrat's rhetoric on taxes and health care is frightening people in the investing classes over what critics call 'wealth redistribution.'
Investors this summer have been placing their bets on an Obama presidency, and for the most part that hasn't been good for the market.
Without giving him a chance to explain himself in detail on the campaign trail or at the Democratic National Convention, they are voting with their shares by tossing financial, health insurance, manufacturing and high-dividend stocks into the ash can, and are growing skeptical about energy companies as well.
It's not that major institutional investors don't like the man -- far from it. He has many backers among the financial elite, including multibillionaires George Soros and Ron Burkle. And it's not that there aren't many other reasons for investors to sell stocks now, as the global economy tangles with the terrible twin beasts of bank deleveraging and inflation.
It's just that Obama's rhetoric on taxes and health care is scaring common wealthy people with large capital gains from investments made over the past decade, and a lot of them don't want to wait around to see whether it's just populist fluff that might be set aside once he takes office.Plus, the Democrats who run Congress know that a weaker economy favors their nominee -- and they are loath to pass banking or trade legislation now to improve the nation's industrial standing over fears that it could backfire and give comfort to the Republicans. And finally, there is a well-founded anxiety that one-party rule in Washington for at least the next two years will bring about the sort of abuse of power that has gotten both parties into trouble over the past few decades.