Who Will Win the 2024 election: ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ or ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

Ex-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang were guests at the Fortune Future of Finance conference on Thursday. The subject of the 2024 election came up. When asked about the impact that a return of former President Donald Trump would have on the business landscape if he were reelected, Scaramucci was blunt: “terrible.”

“He would be terrible for the economy and terrible for business,” said the founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital. The economy has been predictable, and favorable for businesses, because of constitutional separation of powers, Scaramucci explained. Trump wants to obliterate those separations and embrace people and functions that would allow him to have total control. So-called “unitary executive power” would give the president totalitarian powers over the executive branch of government with exclusive rights to shape and enforce laws. It would make Trump “uber powerful,” said Scaramucci, and throughout history, he said, that has been catastrophic for the economy wherever it has happened.

“It’s a disaster for the economy, a disaster for the world, and a disaster for your business,” he said, adding that Trump would be “an orange wrecking ball for this society.”

Similarly, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said Trump would “be a catastrophe” for businesses if he were elected president a second time.

“He’s learned from his mistakes last time, which was hiring responsible adults” who tamped down Trump’s policy instincts, said Yang, co-chair of the Forward Party, a centrist political party he founded in 2021. Yet, Yang warned that if the election were held today, Trump would certainly win. The only question in his mind is whether something changes in the next six months in swing states, where Yang said Biden is underperforming relative to Trump, despite spending Biden’s considerable war chest.

Scaramucci noted that there are currently 40 Republicans who are publicly against Trump’s reelection bid, including former Vice President Mike Pence. If dozens of people who worked at a company came together and said a product or company was awful and could kill you, he said, people would listen. Yet in this case it’s a mystery that Trump has garnered such steadfast support, he said.

Scaramucci only worked at the White House for 11 days, from July 21 to July 31 in 2017, but related one tale about his time in the Oval Office. Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan and Trump were arguing and Trump was pointing his finger at Ryan saying, “You work for me. You work for me,” Scaramucci recalled. Ryan told Trump, “I don’t work for you.” Trump then looked to Scaramucci to confirm as if asking, “Is that right? He doesn’t work for me?” Scaramucci remembered. “And Trump doesn’t like that,” Scaramucci added, making a point about Trump’s interest in autocratic control.

Scaramucci joked about how his short tenure at the White House has evolved into its own indicator of time. For instance, the shortest-serving prime minister in British history, Liz Truss, lasted 45 days from Sept. 6, 2022 to Oct. 20, 2022. Or, she lasted the equivalent of “4.1 Scaramuccis,” he said. “People are very sensitive,” Scaramucci said; Truss “got very upset.” 

Joking aside, Scaramucci warned that there will be two films playing at your local cinema on Election Day. Those films are: Weekend at Bernie’s or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, he said.

“You can either have an elderly guy that is somewhat forgetful, or a lunatic who needs a lobotomy.”