After a summer spent flirting with the other team—more specifically, by creating a national story out of an outer-borough special election by making it the Jewish people’s referendum on President Obama—octogenarian former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was back in old, liberal form yesterday, disparaging the big banks in a public panel. (He has also announced his support for re-electing Obama.) Responding to an argument proffered by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who was attending the same breakfast), that it is lax regulation rather than Wall Street greed that deserves blame for the financial crisis, Koch responded:
Let’s take Goldman Sachs. It’s fined by the S.E.C. $550 million. What the hell do they care. That’s the cost of doing business. Citigroup, fined $285 million. What do you think they got fined for? Schmutz on the sidewalk?
They got fined because they abused their relationship with their clientele. And I want to see somebody, and I haven’t seen it happen yet, some C.E.O., some C.F.O., I want to see one of them from a major corporation punished, criminally. They beggared the people in this country. More than $2 trillion was lost in the great recession.
No word on whether prosecutors are preparing charges against Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein for allegedly be-schmutzing the sidewalk.
Ed Koch: ‘I Love Wall Street,’ But Some CEO Should Go to Jail [Capital New York]
Earlier: Obama Currently Flunking the Koch Test