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Wall Street Really Not Pleased With Mario Batali Over "Hitler" Jab

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GASTRONOMICAL GAFFE
DailyFeed

So the old adage goes, don't bite the hand that feeds you.

However, last week, as covered by Forbes, Mario Batali, a renowned chef who appears frequently on the Food Network and whose restaurants Babbo and Del Posto cater to the New York elite, made a serious faux pas. He mentioned Wall Street bankers and two of the most famous dictators of all time, Hitler and Stalin, in the same sentence. Could this have been a simple misunderstanding or a serious mistake with unintended consequences? 
 
While his intent may have been innocent, the visceral reaction wasn't so forgiving. Investment bankers have lashed out, whether through their Bloomberg terminals or through anonymous quotes to journalists, and they're not going easy. 
 
Here are some examples that have come across my Bloomberg terminal:
  • "I think next time I'll eat at one where the owner doesn't compare me to someone who has committed genocide"
  • "If you're looking for an overpriced meal, this is your spot. Hitler & Stalin would love it"
  • "I know a few places that Wall Street won't OCCUPY any longer"
  • "Wonder how Batali finances his empire? Certainly not with a bank, right? Words have consequences Mario! We, on Wall Street can do without the Batali empire!"
  • "Et, tu Brute?"
Not only are Wall Street bankers retaliating verbally, but with their wallets, too. Reportedly, investment bankers who have made it a habit to eat at his restaurants have begun canceling their reservations en masse. 
 
To verify these claims, we attempted to place a reservation at one of Batali's restaurants for a party of 12 with four hours' notice last Friday afternoon -- in normal times, a pipe dream -- and encountered no problems. Not only will Mario's wallet be hit from these protests, but likely his staff's as well. A decrease in customer traffic would mean a drop in tips for the wait staff and may lead to layoffs in his restaurants. 
 
Despite his apology, bankers are unimpressed and will likely continue to boycott Batali's restaurants. So what's next for Mario? Let's hope he doesn't receive any unplanned fish deliveries.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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