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Area Hedge Fund Manager Pretty Sure Wall Street Protesters Are Just Looking To Rub Up Against Each Other And Score Dope

What do top financial services employees think of the month-long protests headquartered in Zucotti Park, which took over Times Square over the weekend? So far the most vocal people have expressed support for the movement, like Jim Chanos, who said, “New York is so finance-centric that people here underappreciate the reaction of the rest of the country” and that OWS shouldn’t be underestimated; Larry Fink, who told reporters, “I believe we should not turn our backs on these protests…Maybe we will get some balance”; Jamie Dimon, who told those listening to the JPM conference on Thursday, “I do vaguely remember the First Amendment that it is legal to demonstrate and it is completely fine. You should listen and not just have a knee-jerk reaction”; and Vikram Pandit, who in addition to saying that “trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the US,” told protesters he’d love to chat over the phone. With the exception of John Paulson, however, who last week issued a statement telling protesters to 1) beat it and 2) thank their lucky stars that as the founder of a ‘most successful business‘, he chose to set up shop in New York, most financiers with less then charitable feelings have kept their feelings to themselves, fearing retribution from the anti-Wall Street group. Until now.

Over the weekend the Times caught up with a few money managers who can no longer hold their tongues. Despite being confident that the protests are simply “an entertaining sideshow, little more than flash mobs of slackers,” they chose to remain nameless but would still like their voices to be heard. Speaking to the protesters directly, they sent several messages. One, they’d appreciate a little gratitude.

“Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”

Two, they want the protesters to know that they know what this whole thing is really all about.

Generally, bankers dismiss the protesters as gullible and unsophisticated. Not many are willing to say this out loud, for fear of drawing public ire — or the masses to their doorsteps. “Anybody who dismisses them publicly is putting a bull’s-eye on their back,” one top hedge fund manager said…“Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” he added.

Despite the notion expressed by the taxpaying money manager and the hedge funder/Woodstock expert that OWS’s beef is unfairly aimed at the industry, others aren’t sure there’s reason to be getting defensive. “I don’t think we see ourselves as the target,” Steve Bartlett, president of the Financial Services Roundtable told the Times. “I think they’re protesting about the economy.”

In Private, Wall Street Bankers Dismiss Protesters As Unsophisticated [NYT]

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285 Responses to “Area Hedge Fund Manager Pretty Sure Wall Street Protesters Are Just Looking To Rub Up Against Each Other And Score Dope”

  1. Spanishmoon says:

    “Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” he added.

    The same could have been said of Bear Stearns circa 1990.

  2. Fresh Mlk says:

    these people on wall street are retarded. its a certain type of person and someone needs to exterminate them along with the libertarians in a nice old fashioned cleansing.

  3. pazzo83 says:

    If a "successful business" is defined as generating losses of 35% in less than a year, then we truly are fucked.

  4. guest says:

    LOL at you writing "these people on wall street" as though it were a theoretical group and not the readers/commenters of this site you just stumbled upon from Daily Kos.

  5. guest says:

    hey now- my grandma was a librarian

  6. Homer Stokes says:

    He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.

    Seriously? Wow talk about missing the point…

  7. Hummus says:

    It is because of ths "Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well." that the OWS is pissed.

    The bankers had a big hand in influencing the dismantling of the US manufacturing sector as well as the clueless polticians. Corporate profits and wall street M/A fees went up. The middle class got squeezed.

    Now the proles can start to put the pieces of the story together. Go watch some Ross Perot videos on Youtube arguing with Al Gore circa 1992. Go watch the Charlie Rose Interview with the Economist shill Laura Tyson and James Goldsmith about GATT and free trade. Go read this http://desip.igc.org/gatt01.html.

    Get a fuckin clue and come on down to Zucotti.

    OWS 4 EVA

  8. PMCO_sucks says:

    "Get a fuckin clue and come on down to Zucotti. " = hehehehehe

  9. Fresh Mlk's Grandma says:

    Payin' the mo'gage is fo suckas.

  10. 2_Small_2_Bail says:

    "Generally, bankers dismiss the protesters as gullible and unsophisticated."

    Very politically correct. I would have went with penniless idiots but same diff, no diff.

  11. Concerned says:

    Bess – Please include a screener to remove people like Fresh Milk and other OccupyWallStreet douches from invading our turf. There are things going on here that these people couldn't possibly comprehend, like logic and good old fashioned "economic know-how"…

  12. Fresh Mlk says:

    Look at you – they are penniless therefore they suck? look what your work environment has done to you. What do your parents do?

  13. GentlemanTrader says:

    MAYO!

  14. Guestz says:

    I really just have one question. Is Matt off today?

  15. Guest says:

    Bess, this comment thread is getting out of hand. Please have Matt post his one article for the day so that everyone can calm down, eat some free veggie pizza and take a nap.

  16. Fresh Mlk says:

    Bess supports Occupy Wall Street as well. I bet inside she does, though she could never admit it.

  17. AFAIK IMHO says:

    By the way, one of our demands is an immediate cease and desist on the usage of any and all acronyms such as OWS, which are obviously used by The MAN as clandestine methods of communication that exclude regular folks like US!!!!!!!

  18. Statistically InSig says:

    Matt, not sure if you noticed but with 91 comments on Opening Bell and 160 on this final story, with only 4 stories for the day, this is going to cause quite an uptick in your Average Comments Per Story chart.

  19. Brick Killed A Guy says:

    Boy, that really escalated quickly. I mean…that really got out of hand fast!

    – Ron Burgundy

  20. Fresh Milk says:

    Why are my comments getting deleted automatically. They only seem to get through when I am masturbating to a pic of Lazard blowing up with Camina Burana's O'Fortuna! playing.

  21. Fresh Milk says:

    I don't know I don't make a website that automatically transfers money from your current TBTF Bank into another bank and closes your account. That's prop trading!

  22. WheresMyBonus says:

    This has to be some record for # of replies.

    Fresh Mlk, if you really are affiliated with OWS, how about imparting your knowledge in a more productive and less antagonistic manner such as providing some direction and voice for the group so it doesn't appear to be a bunch of generally unemployed, lazy, whiners, with anarchistic tendencies and no fundamental understanding of the financial system (base on numerous sources such as the profiles on the Observer).

    I get it – corporate greed is bad, some people are still making money in a shitty economic environment, there is a growing gap between rich and poor, there is limited job creation, the sub prime mortgage fiasco was a scam and many people got burned (although majority of blame should be with the homeowner); but this movement isn't going to change anything. We live in a capitalistic society and the ability to prosper (legally) is a right of all without risk of redistribution to support a growing welfare state. You don't like the rules of the game, petition congress. You don't like the moral standing of a company (or some new fees they may charge), boycott. You think some finance CEO or trader is an overpaid, pompous, greedy, prick, write a blog informing the world of your opinion. But stop blocking traffic, ruining parks and stinking up NYC – it stinks enough without you people meandering around town.

  23. guest says:

    Anybody else notice this Milk character became a lot more literate/able to spell throughout this thread? Can you imagine a small team of snickering 23 year old's downtown thinking they are sticking it to the 1% with their erudite comments?

    -hedge funder who is looking to hire, and plans to pre-screen applicants for their involvement in this protest nonsense

    ps – someone in our office just pointed out that there are few physicians or credible MBAs participating in OWS. Anybody who graduated from college with a degree in finger painting (sociology, culanth, poetry, or even for the most part LAW) is the new 'unskilled labor.' Congratulations for wasting everyone's time and money. You do not deserve our sympathy. You had the capacity to make choices, and you made bad ones. That is not my fault, and I don't see why I should be asked to pay for your mistakes.

    pps – possibly the most obnoxious idea to come out of you children yet is the fact that you would like to buy a $1MM office in Chelsea. First, that is going to be a pretty sh*tty office. Second, you could not have chosen a more telling place as a goal. How about a perfectly reasonable place somewhere in a location that is slightly less convenient to the local American Apparel store? Or wait, sorry, do you not 'do' those neighborhoods? I probably make at least twice as much as the average (employed) OWS-er, but would not dream of wasting my salary paying to live in a place I could only barely afford. I save, I invest, I pay my loans and would not trade my great education to have them discharged. My family has financial problems? I have put myself in a position to help them take care of them, rather than boohooing in marginal English about it while eating free pizza that some poor suckers around the globe are funding because they haven't realized what a group of marginally intelligent people there are living in that park.

    Is the idea of setting up shop at an inflated rate in Chelsea not the precise attitude (capitalism, status, materialism, spending outside your means…) you people are supposedly protesting against? Couldn't you, maybe, use that fund to do something possibly slightly more useful than buy into the peak of an overpriced real estate market?

    You don't lack the financial community's interest, and plenty of people wish you could get it together to deserve our respect. You don't.

  24. lactose intolerance says:

    I have a high paying job. I am not asking you to feel bad for me. I am asking you to examine yourself.

    You see, this protest is about a way of life. It's a way of life you practice. Yes there are technical issues and regulatory issues. But this isn't going away. Your banks will shrink, your attitudes will change, and your bonuses will get smaller. You will be, to the rest of the world, outside the financial community, a pariah. You REALLY THINK this many people are mad for NO REASON?

  25. UBS MD says:

    What bonus?

  26. merkin_capital says:

    Why didn't anyone tell me Maxine Waters showed up? Gherkin guy, where were you on this?! THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY MOMENT!!

    oh well.

    p.s. eat the poor

  27. lurker says:

    please keep comments down to 2 sentences..

    The rich eat the rich, the poor are the tooth pick

  28. PMCO_sucks says:

    In Soviet Russia, Mlk Fresh you!

  29. PMCO_sucks says:

    ps – I refuse to let this thread die.

  30. urbanity says:

    Please, folks, can we keep the intellectual coversation off my dealbreaker? Thanks.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Your argument is still crap. Most banks that wrote terrible mortgages were local dealers (100% regular folks taking advantage of a hot market) trying simply to collect the fee and were explicitly backed by the government via Fannie and Freddie (regular government employees doing a poor job). Those people were also the first to lose their jobs in many cases and are standing on the corner with you. The large investments banks (99% middle or upper middle class workers) bought and repackaged the mortgages (regular people doing a poor job) on good faith that borrowers would pay them as dtermined by crap rating agencies (also regular people doing a poor job). Just in case, they also bought insurance against defaults (regular people doing a poor job). The banks trusted the borrowers AND covered their asses…. and, because of crap underwriting and homeowners without a clue, got screwed (regular people doing a poor job). Because everything else they do is vitally important to the WORLD economy they were then bailed out by the same people that stopped paying mortgage payments. Again, you can protest all the fees and bonuses you want, but when you blame wall street banks for the mortgage mess you taint every other argument you make via complicit stupidity.

  32. Yoghurt says:

    "Freshmilk & Wollensky."

    At last, you have made a difference.

    – an UBS employee who is occupying 3rd Avenue in hope of someone will buy him a meal.