The chairman of AIG, which is now majority owned by the United States Treasury thanks to a $182.3 billion bailout, was on Bloomberg TV, appropriately enough, when he declared that the “Occupy Wall Street crowd” has “a very simplistic view of things.”
“It’s lost on them,” he said. “They think, ‘Why are you bailing out Wall Street and not Main Street?’ You have to have a view as to what would have happened if Wall Street had been allowed to just implode. I think it would have been devastating for our whole economy and that would have been far worse for Main Street than what did happen.”
Occupy Wall Street isn’t arguing that the government should have let the financial system fail, Mark Bray, a spokesman for the group, said in a telephone interview. Protesters would like to see more resources devoted to the 99 percent of Americans who are suffering, he said.
“The fact that we have one in six children in the U.S. in poverty, high foreclosure rates and problems in accessing education and health care, those aren’t simple problems to the people who have them,” Bray said.