Here's some fairly amazing video featuring former corporate raider Asher Adelman, telling a perplexed CNBC reporter that the Occupy Wall Street folks have a point.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, Adelman was the LBO specialist who used "The Art of War" to guide his business deals, and was one of the people Oliver Stone used as his model for Gordon Gekko.
Adelman's now in a financier in the art world, and in sympathy with the anti-Wall Street protests. He's spent a couple days walking among the activists, giving them pointers on how to articulate their grievances. He's particularly incisive on the TARP loans -- arguing that TBTF banks paid back money we lent them by using money we gave them. Big banks, he notes, borrowed from FED for free, bought Treasuries at 2 or 3 percent, pocketed the difference, booked huge profits, and used them to make good on their TARP loans. He further argues that the FED's QE1 and QE2 were also thinly veiled TBTF handouts.
Adelman joins the growing ranks of Wall Street insiders who have publicly said the OWS protests are justified, or at the very least understandable. Bloomberg has a story featuring OWS sympathy from high-profile Wall Streeters -- hudge fund guru Jim Chanos, mega bond fun manager Bill Gross, and Laurence Fink, who runs the world's largest asset management firm over at BlackRock.
In another life, by the way, Laurence Fink was Larry Fink, who invented the Collateralized Mortgage Obligation while at First Boston. He lost his job when residential mortgage backed securities first blew up in 1987, the first of several Wall St. dress rehearsals for the big housing crash of 2008. Read about them Charlie Gasparino's "Sell Out" or Bethany McLean's "All The Devils Are Here." These are great books on the crash, along with "Reckless Endangerment" (covering the Fannie Mae angle) and Michael Lewis' 'The Big Short."
Lewis, a former bond trader, had a good line about OWS: "They have a point, they just don't know what it is."