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Altman Says Finance Elite Should Shun Chest Beating for Humility

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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The finance industry needs to take a lower profile in its dealings with the public to regain trust, Evercore Partners Inc. Chairman Roger Altman said.

“The best thing for all of us in finance to do relative to Main Street is, as I say, is adopt some humility,” Altman said today at the World Economic Forum in Davos in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Tom Keene. “Right now, it’s time for a relatively low profile and not any chest beating.”

Wealth disparities helped fuel protests in cities including New York and London after as much as $12.8 trillion was spent, lent or committed to bolster financial firms and automakers amid the 2008 financial crisis. Fallout from the economic slowdown created headwinds for the U.S. economy that it will shake off this year on strength from housing, energy and manufacturing, Altman said.

“There is some return of investment to the U.S.,” Altman said. “U.S. competitiveness is improving.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at ztracer1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net