Fat Cats

Fat Cats

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Jen’s post today got me wondering how accurately the perception of Wall Street greed matches the reality. The signs from Occupy Wall Street use generous imagery of pigs, a favorite for illustrating greed and corruption:

   

Then you get the odd fat joke mixed in.

Of course, cartoonists have been portraying high-power executives as enormously fat pigs since Thomas Nast attacked Boss Tweed for political corruption in the 1870s.


Compare Nast’s portrayal of the corrupt Tweed with any of the OWS political cartoons and you’ll see that not much has changed.


But exactly who are these corporate fat cats who run the institutions that have inspired the rage of a generation for their unparallelled greed and corruption?

As a cross-section, let’s take a look at the top 10 wealthiest banks in the United States, as of March 24, 2011, and their CEOs, shall we?

Bank of America
Brian Moynihan


JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon

Citibank
Vikram Pandit

Wells Fargo
John Stumpf

HSBC Bank USA
Irene Dorner (fourth from left)


US Bank
Richard Davis (left)

PNC Bank
Jim Rohr

Bank of NY Mellon
Gerald Hassell (right)

Capital One
Richard Fairbank

TD Bank US Holding
Bharat Masrani

I see one, maybe two, people who would qualify as “fattish” in these pictures, but all in all these are slender people, not fatties. For more examples, you can check out CNN’s list of the 25 highest paid men and women, and see for yourself just how outdated and misguided the current rash of Fat Cat imagery has become.

So please, Occupy Wall Street, political cartoonists, and anyone else who will listen: we are not your symbols of greed and corruption; we do not wish to be lumped in with these selfish, greedy assholes who put personal profit above all else; stop using us to demonize the people you really want to direct your animosity at: selfish, greedy assholes.