After spending over a month in the US at the beginning of this year, there were two lasting impressions about their political scene. Two things that were lacking in the Australian coverage of the upcoming political election.

One was that the obsession with Donald Trump was not quite as frenetic over there, and secondly the real story was the rise of Bernie Sanders on the other side.

Since returning I have tried to stress the extraordinary momentum behind socialist Sanders who looks unkempt and mumbles like one of those old muppets.

Incredibly he has become something of a rock star to the younger generation there. From college to trendy bars, they were talking about Bernie.

My older Republican Wall Street friends confirmed that their children were also into Bernie Sanders. Most were perplexed, but some put on a brave face saying they were encouraged that young people were at least engaged with the political system.

Indeed I have not seen this kind of youthful "engagement" since the 2008 hope and change election of Barack Obama when I was living there.

But Bernie Sanders makes Obama look positively benign and to the right of centre.

The fact he is a socialist is beside the point given most ordinary Americans really would have no idea of the concept.

It is his strident anti-corporate message that sounds eerily familiar to all the rhetoric of the infamous "occupy" movement a few years back.

Wall Street still remembers them camped downtown waving their fingers and chanting against the one percent.

Now they have a real voice and income inequality is the big issue of the campaign. Both sides now recognise it.

If that wasn't enough to make the financial community queasy, they had to face a similar barrage of abuse from their traditional political allies, the Republicans.

Donald Trump, although a New York billionaire and ostensibly one of their own, has boasted he doesn't need their money and the other front-runner, Ted Cruz, preaches anti Wall Street rhetoric, despite the fact his wife works for Goldman Sachs.

And it was recently revealed Cruz himself took a secret $1 million loan from the "vampire squid of Wall Street" to fund his political campaign without declaring it.

Well admitting you were an arch hypocrite might have been tricky, but in the end in Iowa, it doesn't seem to have affected him.

Nor the fact that while decrying Trump, billionaires, businessmen, Wall Street and "New York values" Cruz continues to front up to their Manhattan boardrooms with his hand out for more money.

But the corporate titans had already started moving their support (read money) behind Marco Rubio even before this week's strong showing in Iowa. .

They know he is inexperienced, more so than Obama was when he won; they know he has big question marks over his financial acumen and inability to balance his own cheque book; they know he would be much better Vice Presidential material this time around, but "heywatchagonnado"?

The top two alternatives were unpalatable, though they seemed more concerned about the loose cannon and populist that is Cruz rather than Trump. They are used to Trump's antics in New York.

And most believed he would falter eventually.

And while Socialist Sanders has a snowball's chance of beating Hillary Clinton overall, he is moving her to the left despite her own close ties to Wall Street.

Ironically Hillary Clinton is probably their closest ally among the top four front-runners in either party. 

One veteran Wall Street trader, and no fan of the Clintons, looked at the field and declared wearily "at least we could live with Hillary".