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.)

5 Comments on “Bloomberg sheds a tear for bankers, makes up bogus numbers

  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. 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.

  4. Pingback: The Moral Authority of Occupy Wall Street | Lawyer News & Information

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