A handful of financiers have broken ranks to support Occupy Wall Street, and some big business leaders are urging empathy as well. Take Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, at a Thomson Reuters event on Monday. “Unemployment is 9.1 percent. Underemployment is much higher than that, particularly among young people that don't have a college degree,” said Immelt, according to Reuters. “It is natural to assume that people are angry, and I think we have to be empathetic and understand that people are not feeling great.”


What does Immelt think could allay the protesters’ frustration? Economic growth and lower unemployment. How does he want to achieve it? As chairman of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, he presided over a series of economic recommendations that essentially affirmed the White House’s own jobs-creation agenda — including infrastructure and energy investment, worker retraining, deregulation and visas for high-skilled immigrants. As Ezra notes, “Its ideas don’t seem to differ much from Obama’s ideas.”