‘It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis,’ Bloomberg said. ‘It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and to give mortgages to people who were on the cuspâ�¦It was Congress 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. [And now] we want to go vilify the banks, because it's one target.’
Bloomberg added that the Occupy Wall Street movement was wrong to put the blame solely on the financial services industry. ‘It's fun and it's cathartic – it's, I don't know, it's entertaining to go and to blame people,’ he said.
During yesterday's event, one of Bloomberg's predecessors – former Mayor Ed Koch – angrily disagreed with Bloomberg's comments by noting the nation's major banks were fined hundreds of millions of dollars for their transactions in the period leading up to the 2008 crash.
‘What do you think they got fined for – schmutz on the sidewalk?’ Koch said, using the Yiddish word for ‘dirt’ to make his point.