Wall Street may never be able to change its public image.
That is according to multibillionaire business magnate Michael Bloomberg.
“We’ve been throwing the money changers out of the temples since Jesus’ day,” the former New York City mayor said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday.
He added: “Nobody likes the banks. They get terrible PR. I’m not sure if there is a way to change that, incidentally.”
Bloomberg was joined by Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs — a bank that got a pretty bad rap during the financial crisis.
“People do not like concentrations of power,” he said.
That includes concentrations of economic power, he said, noting it took a lot of economic instability before the Federal Reserve was created.
Mike Bloomberg isn’t the first to point out that the hatred of bankers dates back centuries.
The Economist argued back in 2012 that “scorn for moneymen” can be dangerous for society.
Bloomberg and Blankfein noted the pharmaceutical industry faces a similar PR problem.
“What have they done other than save lives?” Blankfein asked sarcastically.
Bloomberg’s advice to Wall Street on how to counteract the hatred was simple:
Be honest, finance our growth, be great corporate citizens, do the right things and not be too brash about bragging about it. You’ve got to do it and just assume a lot of people will understand … Learn to live with the fact that they’re not going to love you.
To that, Blankfein added, “Try to go for ‘like.'”
Here’s the full interview with Bloomberg TV: