What the 1% Say: Grading Bankers' Aloofness

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After entrenching themselves in Zuccotti Park for weeks, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have finally grabbed the attention they originally sought. What started as a largely ignored sideshow is now a global phenomenon, and the demonstrators' voices are being heard from Wall Street to The Hague. But what about the people who are the focus of the chants and signs, what say the bankers? The New York Times talked to members of the financial sector, many who spoke anonymously, and asked what they thought of the protests raging outside their windows.

We've listed their thoughts below on an easy-to-follow scale. Some quotes are from discussions with Times reporters, others are from press releases or phone conferences. All are 100% banker.

I get it, guys, I dig:
"I would also corroborate that trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that it's Wall Street's job to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust."
-- Citigroup chief executive Vikram S. Pandit

They have every right to keep on truckin':
"I do vaguely remember the First Amendment that it is legal to demonstrate and it is completely fine. You should listen and not just have a knee-jerk reaction."
-- JPMorgan Chase & Company chief executive Jamie Dimon

If they went to Wharton they would understand:
"I think they're protesting about the economy. What's lost is that the financial services sector has to be well capitalized and well financed for the economy to recover."
-- Steve Bartlett, president of the Financial Services Roundtable

Sleeping in a park for three weeks is the most fun thing in the world:
"Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll."
-- Top hedge fund manager

I'm going to paraphrase a William Faulkner title, but that's as far as I'm going to go in acknowledging the protesters:
"There is a view that it will be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing."
-- Financial industry official

Why are you protesting? We created more hedge fund jobs!
"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. 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."
-- John Paulson, "hedge fund titan"

The global financial market crashed because we are so good at what we do:
"Who do you think pays the taxes? 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."
-- Longtime money manager

Get a job, hippies:
"It's not a middle-class uprising. It's fringe groups. It's people who have the time to do this."
-- Veteran bank executive

In Private, Wall St. Bankers Dismiss Protesters as Unsophisticated [NYT]

[@nickgreene][ngreene@villagevoice.com]



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Marg Wood
Marg Wood

The government needs to be capitalized and well financed. not the for profit financial services. Lack of regulations and Republicans lack of social safety nets are also to blame.Universal health care would go a long way towards people losing everything and being homeless.

Marg Wood
Marg Wood

That should be not losing everything!

Kero
Kero

people need to get jobs and stop bitching.  life is unfair, get over it.  the strong get stronger, and its a purely based on ambition in life.

im not going into the whole policital view here, because yes - i agree - the whole wall street system is bullshit and is fucking people.  As a 1%er, i am more than happy with my apartment in NYC and my six-figure salary. 

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

Hey arrogant dipshit, I got a good job.  In fact, I've worked uninterrupted for 20 years.

I'm with OWS, you can go fuck yourself.

Mrgrtwood64
Mrgrtwood64

Kero Maybe you should develop some common sense and common decency! People like you are the problem.  

Gepap
Gepap

Sorry, but if your first bit about life being unfair and the strong getting stronger is true, then there is no problem with the masses, who are by defition the strongest force, getting together and being patently unfair to the "1%" like you making six figure salaries by taking your  money and status away.

So stop bitching.

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

It's hard work sitting on your ass, watching an automated trading program someone else programmed.  Give the poor guy a break, his condescension is well-earned.  We shouldn't expect any humility or gratitude after bailing him and all the other white-collar criminals out of their losing bets.

Winemaster2
Winemaster2

These self interest, self righteous yahoos would be far better off to start ponder why Rome burned, I am not talking what Berlusconi the gigolo id farting about. Why during the French revolution  the heads were chopped off. Why the British Empire fell like tons of Brick and why the Soviet Union disintegrated.  The bottom line is that the the economic system that these who live in ivory towers and glasses house,  cooked up for the benefit of their kind and others who promote it, is fundamentally flawed, or else this havoc would not happen every third . The likes of Koch Brothers, Rupret  Murdoch,  Silvio Berlusconi the Italian gigolo,  the  Vatican, a state within a state, enjoying all the diplomatic privileges, accepting none of the responsibilities, paying no taex,;  Oil Companies, the Shyster Bankers, Insurance Companies,  Corporate  Giants, Multinational; the British Royal parasites; the owners of NFL, NBA, Professional Base Ball,  Tennis, Golf,  British / European Football League, the IOC,  these pro sports figures,  so called Celebs, earning tens of millions;  Palin the mata hari opportunist, hypocrite evangelical con artists, her and other super PACs; the newly minted evangelical Perry with his hog wash of day of prayer and fast, the black bamba ( snake) the Pizza King Cain with his $9.99  Pizza Prize Con promotion; the Millionaire Club, the US Congress; all getting bribe money in the form of so called campaign contributions, several million others all living high on the hog and with their conservative menace and bend having no compunction, scruples or qualms with deliberation sacrificing some over 50 Million US  poor and minority citizens, the British,  Italians, Other Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese;  Arab, Pakistani African dictators doing the same with coercion, reckless abandon and impunity.  NOTE  the likes of Bill Gates,  Warren Buffet not included . 

There is a reason why  88% of people have no confidence in the US Congress.  The US Supreme Court that works only 9 months out of the year and each Judge with 5 or more Clerks of cabals, that churn their personal ideological dogma and interpretation of the Constitution that a high school student knows what it states and mean. 

We as nation are fast heading towards a point of no return. 

williambanzai7
williambanzai7

Tone deaf is insufficient to describe their misplaced self importance.

Next time? There will be no next time.

99percent
99percent

They all deserve an F grade, including Pandit, who tries to come off sounding reasonable. Maybe if they stop gorging on public dollars, screwing people out of their homes, creating derivatives that blow up in their faces but that we have to pay for, and moving Washington politicians around like pawns, they might get a shred of sympathy for their super-debacle of the last decade, but they are so entitled they're basically saying to the 99% of us, F*CK OFF.

Well, here's some news, 1% entitled scumbags, you ain't seen nothing yet!

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