Unlike so many other politicians in recent months, Mayor Bloomberg is not about to kowtow to the simmering populace by denouncing the greedy behavior of Wall Street titans. He couldn’t even if he wanted to, since he is one. So he’s owning it, and using his platform to boldly declare his support for members of his class who he feels have gotten a raw deal. We’d kind of admire his honesty and chutzpah, except today, he maybe kind of went too far.
“There’s Lehman Brothers, who I feel very sorry for,” he said during a news conference. “Dick Fuld, I’ve known for 40 years, who’s a competent guy, and people are criticizing him. They didn’t criticize him when things were going well for an awful lot of years.”
Really? We’d understand if the mayor had been like, “Well, John Thain sure got put in a tough position,” but this guy? For whom the general consensus is that he clearly should have been criticized when things were going well? Who, not incidentally, as Bloomberg’s own news service reports this morning, acquired a nuclear bomb’s worth of yellowcake uranium in the years before his bank went bankrupt? Between this and the rich-people-don’t-kill-people thing, we can only assume the mayor is banking his next win on the rising tide of populist sentiment being stifled by apathy. Which, if past is prologue, is probably a pretty good bet. The man’s crafty, all right.