This article speaks for itself, from the NY Times:
Some on Wall Street viewed the protesters with disdain, and a degree of caution, as hundreds marched through the financial district on Friday. Others say they feel their pain, but are befuddled about what they are supposed to do to ease it. A few even feel personally attacked, and say the Occupy Wall Street protesters who have been in Zuccotti Park for weeks are just bitter about their own economic fate and looking for an easy target. If anything, they say, people should show some gratitude.
“Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”
He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.
and this bit:
John Paulson, the hedge fund titan who made billions in the financial crisis by betting against the subprime mortgage market, has been the exception. His Upper East Side home was picketed by demonstrators earlier this week, but Mr. Paulson offered a full-throated defense of the Street, even going so far as to defend the tiny sliver of top earners attacked by the Occupy Wall Street protesters — whose signs refer to themselves as “the other 99 percent.”
“The top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay over 40 percent of all income taxes, providing huge benefits to everyone in our city and state,” he said in a statement. “Paulson & Company and its employees have paid hundreds of millions in New York City and New York State taxes in recent years and have created over 100 high-paying jobs in New York City since its formation.”
Mr. Paulson’s point is moot: wealth is impossible without taxpayer funded infrastructure and paying 12-15% on a billion earned is not enough to keep the wealth engine going. At the same time, no human being can spend more than $50 million a year, tops, without some kind of psychological problem. Above some number, the needs of society at large to provide health care (45,000 Americans a year die needlessly because they can’t afford it), clean water, a solid public education (so everyone has the same chance for development), and all the rest, at some point the needs of society trump Mr. Paulson’s apparent need for every last dollar.
It’s another example, perhaps, of well-educated people who are incompetent. They’re good to great at pushing money around, maybe, if you don’t count what happened in 2008. Oh, they’re great at taxpayer bailouts, especially when Wall Street wives are allowed to get in on the gravy train. That’s true.
But they’re incompetent when it comes to the big picture: no mention that 80% of income gains from 1980 to 2005 went to the top 1%, no mention from 1945 to 1980 all income groups doubled their income while 1980 to 2008 all but the top 1% saw income gains above 50% (and the top 1% had income gains from 240% to 400%). No mention of the many ways wages have been suppressed for three decades. No mention that these greed heads exist in any society larger than themselves. That’s incompetence.
Maybe it is time for a revolution. Sadly, and completely needlessly.
But I do love the unnamed money manager (the Times, practicing excellent journalistic skills again!) calling out New York’s two Senators for not kissing Wall Street’s ring. And notice the Times can’t bother to note Paulson (“the hedge fund titan,” an uncritical suckup phrase) was Treasury Secretary who screamed for and got taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street, presumably working for Wall Street all the while paid by taxpayers, presumably knowing about alternatives to bailouts that historically have yielded better results, for example, letting banks fail then nationalizing them and bringing in new management then selling the banks off in 5-10 years.
That’s de-luxe journalism right there. Shame on their editor. Then again, maybe the Times editor lives in the same building as Mr. Paulson, who knows? Comic is from the Times, too, their sense of humor apparently being better than their journalism in this case.
What Do You Think?
3 Responses to 'In Private, Wall St. Bankers Dismiss Protesters as Unsophisticated'
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.