Confirming, once again, that without fail Wall Street executives tend to have irreconcilable sociopathic tendencies in addition to delusions of grandeur, AIG's Bob Benmosche found himself promptly under fire from all sides following his interview with the WSJ (reported here) in which he said that outrage over banker bonuses "was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that - sort of like what we did in the Deep South. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong."
There were two main differences: this time around, to pretty much everyone's disappointment, there were no actual lynchings or even anyone going to prison.
But more importantly, racial hatred and lynchings in the "deep south" were generally irrational and without reason, which is certainly more than can be said about a banker uberclass that would not exist if it wasn't for taxpayers saving their ungrateful offshore bank accounts. In other words, the hatred at the likes of Benmosche is certainly warranted.
Which, together with Elijah Cummings promptly demanding his resignation, is why in less than a day the CEO found himself apologizing for a "poor choice of words."
"Simply outrageous. AIG should disavow statement now," tweeted Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, called for Benmosche to resign.
"I find it unbelievably appalling that Mr. Benmosche equates the violent repression of the African American people with congressional efforts to prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars," Cummings said in a statement.
Benmosche later apologized for the remarks.
"It was a poor choice of words. I never meant to offend anyone by it," Benmosche said in a statement.
Thousands of people, mainly African-Americans and primarily in the South, were beaten, hanged and killed in the 19th and 20th centuries by racist mobs.
In contrast, government officials and activists criticized banks and other financial institutions that handed out bonuses during the financial crisis, despite a still-shaky economy and many of the banks' own roles in causing the economic meltdown beginning in 2008.
More importantly, not a single banker was thrown in jail, let alone lynched.