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Why Americans Need to Protest the Banks

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Why Americans Need to Protest the Banks

For the past week, TopSecretWriters has remained relatively silent on the American protests at Wall Street, popularly called “Occupy Wall Street”.

That silence was not for a lack of support, but to watch how the general media portrayed the protestors, before responding.

Now that the corporate-controlled media has had a chance to form the protests into a framework they are comfortable with, we are prepared to blow that framework out of the water.

What you have been hearing is that protestors are made up of young, unemployed Americans. You’ve been hearing that these protests are occurring because of high unemployment.

They are comparing the unrest to the same response the American people had during the 1930’s to the lack of good jobs, or the 1960’s because of war.




Is it Really Just About the Jobs?

Rising unemployment may be the catalyst, but it is not the driving force behind these protests.

I personally sensed something like this was on the way – a revolution of sorts – around 2007, when Chase Manhattan bank sent me an ultimatum through the mail.

The letter said that minimum payments on all accounts had been recalculated. This calculation resulted in a required minimum payment of about four times what the previous monthly payment had been.

When I called to inquire what this was all about, I was informed that I could revert back to the previous minimum payment if I would consent to having the interest rate jacked up to around 17%.

You see – I had taken advantage of an earlier balance-transfer offer that gave me a 6.9% interest rate for a full year. Chase Bank wanted to back out of the deal early, and they weren’t averse to committing extortion in order to do it.

discover

This is only one example of how the banks have been treating the American people during one of the largest economic downturns of the country, and it hasn’t changed even after the U.S. government sent the banks billions of American taxpayer dollars in bailout funds.

Discover bank just refused, this week, to lower a ridiculous 16.9% interest rate on an account that I’ve had with them for over a decade. Americans across the country are experiencing the same cut-throat interest rates, high fees for a late payment of even a single day, and other games and shenanigans.

Still, the customers – the people that really need the help – have not seen a dime of the bailout money filter down. Instead, as Bloomberg reported in 2010, banks saw “record revenue” after receiving the taxpayer money, and that money has lined the bankers profits and has provided the top tier within the corporate leadership with record compensation levels.

In 2010, Peter R. Chase made $2.66 million dollars. Brian T. Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, received $1.94 million. The CEO of Wells Fargo, John G. Stumpf received – are you ready for this – $18.97 million in total compensation.

peter chase

Where did the Bailout Money Go?

If you want a reason for a revolution, all you have to do is look at where all of our tax money went after it sunk into the black hole of the U.S. banking system.

The largest recipients of the money, according to a 2008 CNN article, was Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Coincidentally, these were also the worst offenders when it came to increasing minimum payments for consumers, increasing interest rates on credit cards and loans, and charging even higher and unfair fees for everything from late payments to even just having an account.

Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo received $25 billion – yes Billion – of taxpayer money as part of the bailout.

Think about that. Americans struggle – thanks to unforgiving, high interest rates on loans and unnecessary fees – to even pay income taxes. Yet, the same banks that are squeezing American paychecks for an even greater profit margin, each received $25 billion of that taxpayer money.

You paid the banks when you paid your taxes, and you pay them through the nose in interest and fees. Has your bank done anything to reduce your financial burden in these difficult economic times for this country?

stumpf

Banks Coy About Bailout Funds

According to the CNN article in 2008, banks were not forthcoming in where they planned to invest the money in order to stimulate the economy.

At The DailyBail, which has actively monitored what has happened with the bailout money as well as how banks are dealing with the extremely low interest rates available to them from the feds, reported the following in June of this year (2011):

“With dramatically lower rates on roughly the same amount of interest-bearing deposits, banks have been able to reduce their expenses by over $165B. This isn’t speculation. The numbers here are taken directly from the FDIC’s own figures.

Savers and depositors have been deprived, as a matter of policy, of over $165B in interest, which has gone instead to subsidize the profits at the big banks and the bonuses of the executives who run them. $165B amounts to over $500 for every man, woman and child in America, or over $900 for each and every taxpayer and each of their children.

Taxpayers may have read in the headlines that the big banks have paid back all the bailout money, but the money being paid back is coming right out of their own pockets.”

Why We Protest

Ladies and gentlemen, this is only one example of why Americans need to make a stand against the banks.

The past decade has proven that those that run the banks in American have no interest in improving the economy or helping their customers. The only interest – stemming from a culture of corporate greed – is to increase the bank’s profit as much as possible, thereby earning their coveted stock options and other financial incentives as a reward.

The past three years have proven that the United States Congress is owned by the banks, and through election contributions and other bribes, the people that should be representing the best interests of the American people are not doing that.

Instead, they are protecting their own best interests. The banks own them too.

Who are the protestors? No, they are not only the unemployed. They are not the “new hippie”, reminiscent of the 1960’s. This is different.

They are the struggling employed – the ones working two jobs to make those mortgage payments, to pay off those overpriced credit card bills, and to overcome those overpriced medical bills. These are Americans that have suffered under the crushing Corporate Greed of the banking and healthcare industries for far too long.

The question isn’t why Americans are protesting…the question is, why has it taken so long?

The time is now, and there has never been a better reason to stand up for America than to revolt against the corruption, the greed and the unpatriotic practices of American banks against the American people.


References & Image Credits:
(1) http://aflcio.com/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/database.cfm#C
(2) http://articles.cnn.com/2008-12-22/us/bailout.accountability_1_tarp-money-bailout-money-troubled-assets-relief-program?_s=PM:US
(3) http://dailybail.com/home/the-165b-bank-bailout-that-will-never-be-paid-back.html
(4) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-13/wall-street-sees-record-revenue-in-09-10-recovery-from-government-bailout.html
(5) epicharmus via Compfight cc

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

  • Thanks for an excellent article. I loved every point including how Chase Bank wasn’t averse to committing extortion to reach its goals. My own personal story of Why I Hate Chase Bank (blog) describes my interactions over the past two year period with Chase Banks abusive collectors, unscrupulous collection tactics and its agents threatening harm during an auto repossession and, detailing my subsequent wholehearted effort to resolve the dispute with Chase Bank amicably. Do you think Chase Bank would ever step up and admit their mistakes? The answer is a definitive NO. Corporations do have one human trait. Pride.

  • Good

    Excellent analysis

  • I think these cats receive a LOT MORE money than you are quoting via their quarterly executive bonuses, no?

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