Wall Street tells senators: We pay you to represent us

The New York Times reports: Publicly, bankers say they understand the anger at Wall Street — but believe they are misunderstood by the protesters camped on their doorstep.

But when they speak privately, it is often a different story.

“Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” said one top hedge fund manager.

“It’s not a middle-class uprising,” adds another veteran bank executive. “It’s fringe groups. It’s people who have the time to do this.”

As the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have grown and spread to other cities, an open question is: Do the bankers get it? Their different worldview speaks volumes about the wide chasms that have opened over who is to blame for the continuing economic malaise and what is best for the country.

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.

CNBC reports: Several employees of Goldman Sachs have said that they have been told to stay away from the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park.

Goldman headquarters is at 200 West Street in New York City is just about 1,000 yards from the park where protesters have been encamped since Sept. 17. Until recently, it was possible to see the square from some offices in Goldman’s headquarters. Recent construction has blocked the view.

“I was going to come down to say hello yesterday,” one of my Goldman sources wrote to me on Wednesday. He was told by his employer that he should not go to the square for any reason.

At least five others have related similar stories. Supervisors and co-workers have said that they should stay out of the park. The reasons vary. Some say it is unsafe — although there are plenty of people who look like they work in Wall Street jobs around the protest every day. Others say that it could “endanger your career.”

None of the people I spoke with knew whether their was an official policy against going to the park.

“It feels officially unofficial,” one person said.

A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment.

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4 thoughts on “Wall Street tells senators: We pay you to represent us

  1. Steve Zerger

    Very telling the comment “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country”. The GDP which the economists measure has become nothing but an illusion created by the massive buildup of unserviceable debt.

  2. Christopher Hoare

    The Aristos in Paris in July 1789 propably didn’t get it, either. They were likely just as arrogant and selfsatisfied as the aristos of Wall St and the other neoliberal monstrosities around the world. Goldman Sachs doesn’t want their employees to show any interest in the OWS movement, but their understanding and cooperation is the only thing that will ensure a peaceful democratic transition to people power.

    This global democratic movement better receive far more and far better attention—from police departments, military, judiciary, and governments— to learn why they must recognise from whom their legitimacy comes. They are OUR streets. These are OUR countries; OUR economies, OUR governments. That jackass in the White House better learn to keep his mouth shut and LISTEN instead. He needs to learn who the bosses are. Come out and meet them.

    I like the Manifesto best where it says DEMANDS; we are not requesting for our rights to be recognised.

  3. dickerson3870

    RE: “Wall Street tells senators: We pay you to represent us”

    MY COMMENT: Yes, but the senators would not be elected and reelected to receive that pay without all of those big, fat campaign contributions from Wall Street, businesses, corporations, tycoons, etc.

  4. BillVZ

    Shouldn’t Wall Street be honored for their contribution to creating a strong and prosperous America?

    It’s not a middle-class uprising, adds another veteran bank executive.
    “It is a system designed to manipulate public perceptions about what it means to be American and it’s supported fringe groups, people who have the time to do this.”

    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.
    “In our great nation, we all have an equal shot at being successful and rich anyone can succeed who applies himself. Failure is a sign of incompetence or a flawed character- they don’t have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty.

    If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.
    ” We are the big winners because of our “financial innovation” of all kinds over the past three decades and deserve to be highly paid. -I’ve got mine, because I deserve it”

    Disappointed in those members of Congress specially from New York, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns.
    ” Don’t forget -if a corporation likes a politician, it can ensure that he is elected every time; if it becomes upset with a politician, it can carpet-bomb their district with a few million dollars’ worth of ads and politically destroy them.”

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