.

Screw the Big Banks and the Corporate Welfare Pony They Rode in on

Just a few reasons why the people at the "Occupy Wall Street" movement might actually have it right.

We spent $5 BILLION tax-payer dollars bailing-out Citigroup and Bank of America and what have we gotten in return:

  • Bank of America Corp just reported a third quarter profit of $6.2 billion.
  • BOA just announced that two of its former executives, Sallie Krawcheck and Joe Price, will receive a salary of $850,000 and a payment of $5.15 million and a salary of $850,000 and a payment of $4.15 million respectively. Meanwhile, BOA maintained its CEO’s salary of $950,000 plus $9.05 million in performance-based stock awards this year.
  • Bank of America recently Announced That It Was Laying Off 30,000 People. The layoffs come after a decision by Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Citigroup earlier this year to “outsource IT and back office projects worth nearly $5 billion this year to India, as they seek to lower costs."

Thank God I belong to a credit union. There are no milion dollar bonuses paid out to CEO's and investors. There were no bailouts for the credit unions. The interest rates on car and small business loans are lower and the branch mangers are in the same tax bracket as most of the state employees that entrust them with their life savings.

I empathize with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. While the big banks made risky, disingenuous investments with our money they continued to payout seven figure bonuses to CEO's that are taxed at half the rate of their $9 per hour bank teller. They they spent millions of dollars and man hours hiring "robo-signers" to sign forclosure letters on hundreds of thousands of Americans who could not keep up with their mortgages due to no fault of their own.

Why is it okay for the CEO of a financially-troubled bank to receive a $5 million bonus while teachers, nurses, cops and firemen take 10% pay cuts and lose the right organize?

In 2010 160 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty (an increase of 37% in one year). So far this year 74 firefighters have been killed protecting us. And how many times have we heard about teachers and other school officials being gunned down while educating our childrend? How many hedge fund managers have made the ultimate sacrifice? How many CEO's take a bullet each year while on the job?

Now cops and firemen have to worry not only about their lives, but about their position getting cut as local governments become cash-strapped as the GOP refuses more stimulus packages.

While ACT scores and the percentage of students taking college entrance exams rise in Wisconsin, teachers take a pay cuts, lose benefits and collective bargaining rights. If corporate America played by the same rules as public employees, big bank CEO's and Wall Street investors would be eating out of garbage cans and begging teachers and nurses for hand-outs and cops not to arrest them while they sleep on a park bench at night.

But the reality is that we have corporate lapdogs like Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson who would rather see a flat tax that greatly benefit millionaires by reducing their taxable income than finance a $43 billion dollar stimulus designed specifically to return teachers and first responders back to the work place - our schools and streets.

The GOP is willing to let Main Street go to hell while Wall Street reaps unwarranted rewards for their unbridled greedy actions.

It is okay for Paul Ryan to drink $350 bottles of wine with millionaire hedge fund managers while our cops and teachers struggle to buy $150 worth of groceries to feed their entire family for a week.

Shame on the GOP for being the corporate puppets that they are - it is time to bail out the people that really work for a living . . .

It is a time for outrage . . .

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Frances Ziegler October 24, 2011 at 06:51 PM
I agree with you, Randy1949. The finger-pointing doesn't solve problems, it just continues to irritate others, make them angry and blame someone else. That can go on forever and it is counter productive. Most people do not know how to listen and if we continue to point fingers, then we can't even forgive and forget, and move on with an open mind and heart to deal with the problems.
CowDung October 24, 2011 at 08:38 PM
We really need to place blame on the fingerpointers...
James R Hoffa October 25, 2011 at 05:26 AM
No one even mentioned the fact that most of the big banks being vilified in the article didn't want or need TARP funds. It was pushed on them by team Paulson/Geithner. Did everyone really forget about this? Also interesting how most people see the banks from only one perspective. Essentially, the investment banks were buying up mortgages from the commercial banks, thus allowing the commercial banks to remove those liabilities from their balance sheets so they could lend out even more money then they otherwise would have been able to. All that extra loan money in the system created hundreds of thousands of jobs and gave people who may have otherwise never had an opportunity to own a home the possibility to do so. Without Wall Street doing what it was doing, we wouldn't have had all those jobs related to real estate that we did have during the last decade.
James R Hoffa October 25, 2011 at 05:26 AM
But then it crashed and the banks were left holding the bag - some more than others. And the fed pushed TARP on all of them, especially the big ones. The big ones repaid their TARP money within a couple years and the fed made money off those loans. But now the banks are reluctant to lend again except to those who pose a safe credit risk. And who can blame them? Look at what happened last time. Nobody's going to fall for 'AAA' rated investment derivatives made up of crap again. And nobody wants to be the one holding the bag again. Makes sense, doesn't it? But why blame the banks? Do you really think that they wanted people to start defaulting on their mortgages? Sure, some of the investment firms did by hedging against their own derivatives and purchasing credit-default swaps, but not the commercial banks that are being vilified in this article. Do you really think that Dick Fuld wanted to be the man who brought down Lehman Brothers in a totally disgraceful fashion? Do you really think that the banks wanted to create an artificial oversupply of housing which caused one of the largest devaluation in American real estate in history? Remember, a mortgage is considered a ‘secured’ loan because banks believed that they would be able to get their principle back at a minimum in cases of default. But with prices tanking, the banks now lose out on full principle recovery upon default. None of this is/was good for banks either.
James R Hoffa October 25, 2011 at 05:26 AM
So again, why blame the banks? If borrowers hadn’t defaulted, none of this would have happened! So blame the dead beat borrowers. Blame the ratings agencies for tricking people into thinking that crap backed securities were a good investment. Blame the government and the GSE’s for pushing lending standards so low. Don’t all these other sources of the problem deserve blame before we start on the banks?

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