Last night Bloomberg TV aired an hour-long talk with Black Rock’s Larry Fink and PIMCO’s Bill Gross as part of their Heavy Hitters series.There’s no denying these men know their stuff, so there were a lot of insightful moments, but none so surprising as when the conversation turned to the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Bottom line: These guys support what the protesters are doing. To them, the protests aren’t strange — Americans have been through this before. This is just what happens in a country when people are unhappy, and they have a lot to be unhappy about.
Fink and Gross agree that Washington and Wall Street both need to sack up and take responsibility for what happened so we can fix our problems and the country can move ahead.
Here are the highlights, and the video is below:
- 0:28 — Fink: “I’m actually very happy with Occupy Wall Street because I think that actually for the first time in 3 years we may have fringe element symmetry…The Tea Party shaped the 2010 elections in a very big way and frankly I was personally surprised that we didn’t have a left wing element…I’m not saying I agree with one side or the other, I agree with a lot of fringe elements and what they’re trying to say.”
- 1:29 — Fink: “We have to admit, as members of the financial press and the financial community…Washington…we really did let down a lot of people… To resolve this we have to admit it.”
- 2:23 — Gross: “(I have) Sympathy for labour as opposed to capital…Wall Street as opposed to Main Street…that’s the 1% versus the 99 can basically be differentiated in that way. For a long time, for 20 or 30 years, capital has benefitted at the expense of labour…How can one not sympathize with their predicament?…To not have sympathy with Main Street as opposed to Wall Street is to have blinders.”
- 3:43 — Gross: “The fact is that Washington is dominated by K Street and it’s dominated by finance and contributions from large corporations which don’t have the interests of Main Street.
Here’s the video: