Billionaire investor George Soros said Monday that he understands the frustration that has led people in New York to demonstrate against Wall Street and he understands that those protests are spreading elsewhere in the United States.

"Actually I can understand their sentiment, frankly," he said to the press at the United Nations headquarters, where he showed up on Monday to show the support of his foundation for several humanitarian projects to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in several places in Africa.

Soros mentioned the plight of owners of small business owners who saw the interest rate on their credit cards soar from 8 percent to 28 percent after the 2008 financial meltdown.

Because many of those entrepreneurs depended on personal credit to keep their firms going, he said, "an awful lot of them actually were put out of business."

"And at the same time the decision not to inject capital into the banks, but to effectively relieve them of their bad assets and then allow them to earn their way out of a hole leaves the banks bumper profits and then allows them to pay bumper bonuses," the Hungarian-born financier said.

"And the contrast between the two I think is a large contingent" of both the Occupy Wall Street protests and the Tea Party movement, Soros said.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters organized a big march in New York last Saturday at which police ended up arresting more than 700 participants.

The protesters vow to remain in the Lower Manhattan financial district for several months.