Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not be too fond of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but former Mayor Ed Koch said he hears them loud and clear.
At a breakfast meeting of the Association for a Better New York Tuesday, Koch said Wall Street heads like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup got off too easy for their roles in the country’s economic collapse.
“There’s something wrong with a kid who steals a bike going to jail, but someone who steals millions paying a fine,” he said. “I want to see somebody, and I haven’t seen it yet, some CEO, some CFO, I want to see one of them from a major corporation, punished — criminally.”
Koch’s comments came moments after Bloomberg called some of the protesters’ complaints “totally unfounded,” saying they should be directing the blame at Congress instead.
“It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis,” hizzoner said, “It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and to give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.”
“Now we want to go vilify the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves,” he added.
Bill Dobbs, a press liaison for the protesters, pointed out that they are blaming both financial institutions and politicians.
“Occupy Wall Street is giving an outcry against all the institutions that have allowed such income inequality and corporate power to have free reign,” Dobbs said.
In other OWS news:
- Downtown politicians wrote a letter to Bloomberg Tuesday asking for him to clamp down on late-night drumming by protesters and to remove “excessive” barricades in the Financial District.
- The owner of the Milk Street Café on Wall Street blamed protesters for him firing a quarter of his staff, saying sales have dropped since the protests began.
- Wednesday night's “South Park” episode, titled “1%” will pin Eric Cartman against the other “99%” in his school.
- A condom company is giving out free samples to protesters after a published report that some had been getting STD tests recently.