Ed Koch

As you may have heard, things are not going so well for New York City* of late. Lower Manhattan has been without power for days. A hundred or so houses that once stood in Queens are now rubble. Staten Island has been destroyed. Those living uptown and in other areas that emerged relatively unscathed are dealing with survivor’s guilt. In spite of all that, Mayor Bloomberg has declared that the Marathon, scheduled for this Sunday, will go on, a decision that has been met with major outrage by people who believe the considerable resources that go toward putting on the race should be put to more critical use elsewhere, that the city does not need the strain of putting up an additional 40,000 people, that the supposed economic benefit would be a drop in the bucket of what NYC needs, that the generators sitting in Central Park right now could be helping those sitting in darkness, and that considering dead bodies are still being pulled of the water, it’s generally “too soon.” One guy who’d beg to differ? Ed Koch. Twenty-five years out of his mayorship, he still gets these people and while the media would have you believe holding the marathon has caused an enormously heated debate, he’s here to tell you that’s bull. New Yorkers want this and if Koch were still King? He’d be throwing a parade come Sunday, with A-Rod as Grand Marshal. Read more »

“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 to give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.” It was Congress, he continued, that “pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent; they were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody.”…Mr. Koch, a Democrat, praised Mr. Bloomberg’s business acumen but said he differed with him on the question of the financial crisis and the protests. “I’m Jewish, not Catholic, but I believe in punishment,” he said. Referring to the settlements paid by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to resolve claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Koch said they were just “the cost of doing business” in the view of the banks. “What do you think they got fined for — schmutz on the sidewalk?” Mr. Koch said. “They got fined because they abused their relationship with their clientele. And I want to see somebody — I want to see one of them, of a major corporation, punished criminally.” [NYT]