Mayor Bloomberg let Wall Street off the hook this morning, speaking at a business breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York.
“It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis,” the Mayor said. “It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.”
In the face of solid evidence to the contrary, the Mayor’s defense of Wall Street is incomprehensible. Earlier this year, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission concluded that bad intentions and worse behavior by reckless banks caused the economic meltdown — plain and simple. Similarly, the documentary Inside Job shed light on the major players behind a crisis fueled by speculative greed. And most recently, the dialogue sparked by Occupy Wall Street has made it clear that the vast majority of Americans know the facts about who needs to be held accountable.
Former Mayor Ed Koch, speaking at the same event, countered Mayor Bloomberg’s statement by saying, “I would differ with respect to blame…I want to see one of them from a major corporation punished, criminally. They beggared the people in this country.”
Indeed, the bottom line is that the banks are responsible for making risky loans, not the government. And until there is a reckoning of those who bankrupted America, the 99% will continue the call for economic justice and shared sacrifice.