Mayor Bloomberg believes they should Occupy Capitol Hill.
Bloomberg suggested Tuesday that much of the Zuccotti Park protesters’ anger about the nation’s economic woes is misplaced – and should be directed at the politicians, rather than Wall St.
“It was not the banks who created the mortgage crisis, it was, plain and simple, Congress,” said Bloomberg to an Association for a Better New York breakfast meeting.
“They are the ones who pushed the banks to loan to everybody and now we want to vilify the banks because it’s one target,” said Bloomberg.
“It’s easy to blame them and Congress is certainly not going to blame themselves.”
Hizzoner was joined by two former mayors in addressing a ballroom packed by what a Zuccotti Park protester would call “the 1%,” scores of politicians and business leaders.
But one of his predecessors at City Hall strongly disagreed with Bloomberg’s assessment of blame.
“I do believe in punishment,” said Ed Koch, who blasted the SEC for only fining Wall St. titans like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup for their financial misconduct.
“What the hell do they care? That’s the cost of doing business,” Koch said of the banks. “I want to see somebody – some CEO, some CFO – punished criminally.”
Bloomberg and Koch were joined by David Dinkins at the ABNY gathering, at which hundreds of leaders celebrated the organization’s 40th anniversary as one of the city’s biggest boosters.
The trio of mayors – joined by Rudy Giuliani and Bill Clinton via video tributes – reminisced about their time in office, trading good-natured jabs and heartfelt stories about their greatest successes and failures.
Dinkins said he most regretted his handling of the 1991 Crown Heights riots.
Koch said he botched the closing of a beloved Harlem Hospital.
And Bloomberg said his greatest regret was the failure of enacting congestion pricing in Manhattan – which he put at the feet of the state Legislature and not City Hall.
All three said they loved their time as mayor – though they agreed with the current officer-holder’s assessment that the job was “not for the faint of heart.”
“The mayor of the City of New York is treated outside the city like a head of state,” said Dinkins. “But not within the city!”
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