During a recent panel discussion about Time magazine's upcoming choice for 'Person of the Year' (video below), 'Iron Chef' Mario Batali said that Wall Street bankers had the most influence on America: "So the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys…They’re not heroes, but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating."
An anonymous bank executive told the New York Times: “The irony is that he has made millions of dollars building a restaurant empire off the backs of Wall Street wealth.” The executive said he would not go back to any restaurant that Mr. Batali was involved with.
Batali later issued an apology through Twitter. “To remove any ambiguity about my appearance at yesterday’s Time Person of the Year panel, I want to apologize for my remarks,” he said. “It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history.”