Hedge-fund founder and regular Republican donor Paul Singer paints a grim picture of how the economy would fare if Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump moves into the White House.
"The most impactful of the economic policies I remember him coming out for are these anti-trade polices," Singer said after a panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this week. "I think if he actually stuck to those policies and gets elected president, it's close to a guarantee of a global depression."
Singer is the founder of Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund with over $25 billion under management. The firm's top five holdings as of March 31 were EMC (EMC) , Hess (HES) - Get Report , Allergan (AGN) - Get Report , Alcoa (AA) - Get Report , and Citrix (CTXS) - Get Report .
Trump has proposed stiff tariffs on imports from China and Mexico, the country's second- and third-largest trading partners.
While many on Wall Street are skeptical of such proposals, fearing they would spark a trade war with little upside for the U.S. economy, Singer's critique stands out for its sharpness. Singer added that he also firmly opposes Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Asset managers are frequently major political donors, and during the last presidential election cycle, they leaned heavily Republican, with less than a quarter of donations from the sector going to Democrats, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organizations that monitors the influence of moneyed interests.
Since February, Singer has donated $1.5 million to the anti-Trump super PAC Our Principles, according to Federal Election Commission data. Top donors of the group include a who's-who of hedge funders: Cliff Asness, the co-founder of AQR Capital Management; Bruce Kovner, the chairman of CAM Capital; and Michael Vlock, who runs the Pritzker family's investing office.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but the candidate has in the past labeled his critics as elites with special interests.
"Many who have benefited from these imbalanced trade deals are lashing out to maintain the status quo," his campaign said in a recent statement. "Trump wants trade deals, but he wants trade deals that are fair, balanced and benefit American workers."