Bankers, Billionaires Try to Form Movement Against OWS
...and unintentionally generate comedy gold along the way.
Whaddaya know? It seems the rich now want to eat the folks who want to eat the rich. Wrap your head around this Bloomberg report:
Jamie Dimon, the highest-paid chief executive officer among the heads of the six biggest U.S. banks, turned a question at an investors' conference in New York this month into an occasion to defend wealth.
"Acting like everyone who's been successful is bad and because you're rich you're bad, I don't understand it," the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO told an audience member who asked about hostility toward bankers. "Sometimes there's a bad apple, yet we denigrate the whole."
Dimon, 55, whose 2010 compensation was $23 million, joined billionaires including hedge-fund manager John Paulson and Home Depot Inc. (HD) co-founder Bernard Marcus in using speeches, open letters and television appearances to defend themselves and the richest 1 percent of the population targeted by Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
If successful businesspeople don't go public to share their stories and talk about their troubles, "they deserve what they're going to get," said Marcus, 82, a founding member of Job Creators Alliance, a Dallas-based nonprofit that develops talking points and op-ed pieces aimed at "shaping the national agenda…"
Several irate members of the Job Creators Alliance were interviewed for this piece and discussed how upset they are about Dodd-Frank, OWS agitators, and populist rhetoric coming from the left. "Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let's call it an attack on the very productive," John A. Allison IV, a director of BB&T Corp. (BBT) and a professor at Wake Forest University's business school, told Bloomberg. "This attack is destructive."
The fact that hedge fund managers and politically active gazillionaires are trying to organize a forceful push-back against Occupy Wall Street isn't all that surprising; what is somewhat surprising is how little Max Abelson, the author of the Bloomberg story, bothers to hide his disdain for his interview subjects. Virtually every dickish quote from a corporate counter-protester is undermined by the clause or sentence immediately following it. Read how the piece doubles as a crash course in unintentional lulz:
"If I hear a politician use the term 'paying your fair share' one more time, I'm going to vomit," said Golisano, who turned 70 last month, celebrating the birthday with girlfriend Monica Seles, the former tennis star who won nine Grand Slam singles titles.
Ken Langone, 76, [a] Home Depot co-founder and chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center, said he isn't embarrassed by his success.
"I am a fat cat, I'm not ashamed," he said last week in a telephone interview from a dressing room in his Upper East Side home. "If you mean by fat cat that I've succeeded, yeah, then I'm a fat cat. I stand guilty of being a fat cat."
It gets worse.