Wall Streeters typically aren't the protest type. When they feel strongly about something, they don't protest it — they trade it. So, while you saw the tech industry explode with outrage over President Donald Trump's immigration ban, you haven't heard much beyond measured statements from big Wall Street firms and you don't see a lot of finance guys marching on Washington.
"Trump went too far, too fast. It seemed barbaric," a sales trader at a bulge bracket firm said. "But our firm and the industry as a whole are much better served by standing on the sidelines on this one."
The immigration ban (or "pause," as Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly likes to call it) prevents people from seven different countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from entering into the United States. That goes up to 120 days for refugees. However, for Syrian refugees, the ban is indefinite.
The ban hit two-hot button issues for Wall Street. The first is safety. No industry was impacted more by the Sept. 11 attacks. Some of my friends went to over 20 funerals in the months that followed. So, keeping America safe is a big concern in the industry. Second, diversity. Wall Street has worked hard to chip away at its white-guy image and diversify its staff. Sure, there's still work to be done, but this is also a big priority for the industry. So, they want to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack — but they don't want to support something that might target race or nationality.