With all the talk and hype about a "newspaper war" in New York, neither the Wall Street Journal nor the New York Times saw fit this morning to cover last night's Alexander Hamilton Dinner of the Manhattan Institute. So we'll try to fill the gap.
The evening opened with Paul Singer, the chairman of the Manhattan Institute and the founder and manager of the Elliott Associates hedge fund, denouncing what he called "unprecedented" "govermental overreach into the United States economy."
He described what he said were "punitive and indiscriminate attacks...against anything that moves in the world of finance."
He said Senator Dodd's financial "reform" bill "in fact institutionalizes 'too big to fail."' He suggested "specific fixes to the bankruptcy code" would be better than using the crisis to replace the rule of law with "arbitrary" policy set by "the englightened elite" in Washington D.C.
"Politicians are taking cheap and easy shots at the financial industry and those who work in it," Mr. Singer said.
Mr. Singer introduced Mayor Bloomberg and praised him for recent comments suggesting that the fate of Main Street and Wall Street are intertwined rather than a zero-sum game.
Mr,. Bloomberg opened with a joke that instead of the Hamilton Dinner, "I heard that this year some members were pushing for a Tea Party."
The founder of Teach for America, Wendy Kopp, who was honored at the dinner, said she was supposed to have been a part of the "me" generation. "Supposedly we all just wanted to go work on Wall Street," she said. "The only recruiters at the time were investment banks and management consulting firms."
"There are 14 million kids who live below the poverty line," she told the group.
The second person honored, Robert Rosenkranz, complained that discourse has become "shrill and partisan," in part because "the angry folks on the extremes are more likely to write a check." Mr. Rosenkranz reported on a debate series he founded in which the audience is polled before and after a debate. The final polls found 60% agreed on "blame Washington more than Wall Street for the financial crisis," and a plurality wound up agreeing "global warming is not a crisis."
I attended the event as a guest of the Manhattan Institute.