Meet the Financial Wizards Working With Occupy Wall Street
The bankers, quants, and hedge fund gurus who want to reform our financial system—by helping OWS kick ass.
—By Josh Harkinson
| Tue Dec. 13, 2011 3:00 AM PST
Cathy O’NeilCathy O’Neil, a participant in the Alternative Banking Group Josh Harkinson
High up in a Manhattan conference room on Sunday, a group of investment gurus discussed Occupy Wall Street. Should they support a set of tough-sounding financial reforms just proposed on the campaign trail by presidential candidate Jon Huntsman? Or was it reasonable to demand even deeper reforms? “This isn’t enough,” argued Cathy O’Neil, a former hedge fund quant who organizes the group, a branch of Occupy Wall Street known as the Alternative Banking Group. She proposed that the gathering of financial experts come up with improvements to Huntsman’s plan and present them to Occupy Wall Street’s General Assembly. Another OWS supporter, whose day job involves consulting for private equity firms, looked up from his laptop and smiled. “That’s an excellent idea!”