Wall Street elite stunned at Trump triumph

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From plush penthouse apartments on the Upper East Side to bars in midtown Manhattan, New York’s financial community watched in stunned dismay on Wednesday as Republican Donald Trump clinched the White House.

An early party mood quickly soured as donors and supporters of Hillary Clinton realized that the Democratic candidate, Wall Street's preferred choice because she represented the status quo, had lost.

Many were stuck for words.

“Not really much to say,” said Marc Lasry, a billionaire credit investor.

Trump's unpredictable pronouncements and opposition to free-trade agreements have made the real estate mogul unpopular with many financiers, who fear that he could disrupt global trade and damage geopolitical relationships.

The U.S. dollar sank and stocks plummeted as investors fled risky assets. S&P 500 index futures crashed.

Joseph Peiffer, a lawyer who has represented investors and others in class-action lawsuits, cracked open a third bottle of wine, his "only in the case of an emergency" bottle, while watching the returns during an election night party he hosted for about 20 friends and family members in his hometown of New Orleans.

"This seems like enough of an emergency to break it open," he said.

Trump's pronouncements on the financial sector have perplexed Wall Street.

On the one hand, he has pledged to dismantle much of the regulation put in place after the financial crisis, known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. On the other hand, he has called for a "21st century" version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law that required the separation of commercial and investment banking.

Trump has not said what that version would entail other than saying that he would prioritize "helping African-American businesses get the credit they need."

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