Matt Taibbi suggests that New York’s Mayor Bloomberg is on his way to becoming the unwitting face of the 1%, at Rolling Stone:
…I thought of all of this this morning, when I read about Bloomberg’s latest comments on Occupy Wall Street. I remembered how pleased Bloomberg looked with himself at the HuffPost ball last year when I read what he had to say about the anticorruption protesters now muddying his doorstep in Zuccotti Park:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this morning that if there is anyone to blame for the mortgage crisis that led the collapse of the financial industry, it’s not the “big banks,” but congress.
Speaking at a business breakfast in midtown featuring Bloomberg and two former New York City mayors, Bloomberg was asked what he thought of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
“I hear your complaints,” Bloomberg said. “Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that.”
To me, this is Michael Bloomberg’s Marie Antoinette moment, his own personal “Let Them Eat Cake” line. This one series of comments allows us to see under his would-be hip centrist Halloween mask and look closely at the corrupt, arrogant aristocrat underneath.
Occupy Wall Street has not yet inspired many true villains outside of fringe characters like Anthony Bologna. But Bloomberg, with this preposterous schlock about congress forcing banks to lend to poor people, may yet make himself the face of the 1%’s rank intellectual corruption.
This whole notion that the financial crisis was caused by government attempts to create an “ownership society” and make mortgages more available to low-income (and particularly minority) borrowers has been pushed for some time by dingbats like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who often point to laws like the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act as signature events in the crash drama.
But Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are at least dumb enough that it is theoretically possible that they actually believe the crash was caused by the CRA, Barney Frank, and Fannie and Freddie…
[continues at at Rolling Stone]