Posted by: Doug Henwood | September 30, 2011

Bloomberg sheds a tear for bankers, makes up bogus numbers

Asked to comment on the Occupy Wall Street protests, plutocrat Mayor Michael Bloomberg—#12 on the Forbes 400, net worth almost $20 billion—painted a heart-rending portrait of suffering bankers:

The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the bottom line.Those are the people that work on Wall Street or on the finance sector.

We need to be nice to them, Bloomberg continued, so they’ll make loans and help the economy recover. No need to dwell on the past—let’s move forward.

Fact-checking the Mayor, who is far from a stupid or ignorant man: According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the agency that produces the GDP statistics, the average salary in the finance and insurance sector was $88,118 last year. In the “securities, commodity contracts, and investments” sector, which is what people mean when they say “Wall Street,” the average salary was $204,539. That’s four times the national average. Struggling indeed.

(The ThinkProgress reporter in the linked article only got some spotty and misleading numbers. For the BEA originals, go here: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Click on the “Begin using the data” button, choose section 6, and then choose table 6.6D. There’s no direct link to that table, thus the roundabout route.)

About these ads

Responses

  1. Doug – thanks for this. Do they ever calculate medians for those statistics?

  2. It should also be noted that Bloomberg is committing the fallacy of composition with his highlighting of employee earnings. The compensation of finance workers does not represent the totality of wealth held by the finance industry.

    Bloomberg himself is living proof of this. He charges a premium price (around $25K/year) for a single licence to his company’s financial data and trading platform. If finance companies weren’t flush with cash, they wouldn’t have rooms full of Bloomberg terminals and Bloomberg wouldn’t be a billionaire.

  3. “Struggling indeed.”

  4. Alas, no medians. The BEA has totals for industry and number of employees, and they do the division. But the kind of survey required for medians doesn’t really exist.

  5. [...] Giving them this space is the least that New York’s increasingly plutocratic and petulant Mayor Bloomberg can [...]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,939 other followers

%d bloggers like this: