Coffee Party Targets Mega-Banks in Downtown San Diego

by on May 19, 2010 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Organizing, San Diego

clean up wall st logoThis Friday, May 21st, during the noon lunch hour, the San Diego chapter of the Coffee Party will be targeting four mega-banks in the downtown area.  Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi-Bank, and Chase, will all be targeted by the protest. In a tour of the banking area, activists will be pointing out how much each bank received in the bailout, what they pay their CEOs and other important info.

This is part of the nation-wide effort of the Coffee Party to clean up Wall Street and “K” Street (where the DC lobbyists all hang out) in favor of Main Street.

Activists will show up – some in costume – at Horton Plaza at 11:30 a.m. by the Fountain, the staging point for the tour. Everyone is invited to join with the Coffee Party as its highlights the role of the huge, mammoth banking institutions that control our economy.

Here is a statement from the local Coffee Party:

Why is this issue so important NOW?

United States representatives are currently shaping legislation to curb the abuses of Wall Street. Yet the powerful highly-financed “K Street” lobbyist are pouring millions of dollars into politicians pockets to stop or to water-down any such amendments. We must act now to insure that sensible regulations are to put in place.

MEGABANKS:

The six biggest banks in the United States now possess assets equivalent to 60 percent of America’s gross national product. Back in the 1990s that figure was less than 20 percent. These six banks – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo – literally dictate what goes on in the U.S. banking industry.

On Thursday May 7th, an amendment, the “SAFE banking Act” was defeated in the Senate (Diane Feinstein voted against). The amendment which would have put specific ceilings on the size of banks, builds on a provision already in the Senate’s financial regulatory overhaul package that is meant to limit future growth of large Wall Street firms.

What will future bills bring to the table? Will the politicians truly be effective to stop further abuses by Wall Street? Are the provisions being decided in back-room deals between Wall Street lobbyist and our elected officials?

It is time for us to be vigilant.

We must insist that our representatives be accountable to the American people not to the moneyed interest of Wall Street.

We must support Main Street banks over Wall Street banks.

For more info, go to the Coffee Party website here.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar annagrace May 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Main Street also includes all of our neighbors who use check cashing establishments. That is a lot of people in my community, and maybe more than you imagined in yours. The current financial reform has left out any regulation on payday loans because of heavy lobbying from the industry. Payday loans target the poor, military, and African American communities. These loans can and do generate 400% interest rates.

OB- you have at least one payday loan enterprise at the Check Cashing Place on Newport. There are a number of such businesses downtown where the rally is taking place on Fri. My City Heights neighborhood and adjacent North Park are filled with them.

And there is a direct relationship between big banks and payday loan businesses:
“Big banks — the same parties who have denied people more legitimate sources of credit — are deeply embedded in the payday loan industry. Wells Fargo has funded more than one-third of all storefront lenders, Bank of America’s a major shareholder in payday lender QC Holdings, and banks have been working with payday lenders to evade usury laws.

Banks force people into a financial squeeze where they have no other credit options by denying them traditional loans and credit cards, then profit from rapacious payday lenders who charge them rates that can approach 400% to 800% in annual interest. Payday loans don’t help an “underserved population”: they’re part of an exploitative, interconnected system.” (Complete Huffington post article link below)

I hope that organizers of the rally consider a stop by Cash Advance at 1049 6th Ave., which advertises payday loans.

Read more about this here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/usurious-payday-loans-myt_b_573542.html and here:
http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1701-Financial-Reform-Bill-Will-Exempt-Payday-Loans

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avatar doug porter May 20, 2010 at 8:26 am

i hope our good friends from billionaires for wealthcare can make this event. they always make protests more fun.

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avatar Frank Gormlie May 20, 2010 at 9:10 am

Calling on Billionaires for Wealthfare!!!

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avatar psd May 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

Sounds fun!

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avatar angel May 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

What would happen if people stopped banking at those banks?

When Wamu was bought up by Chase, I switched to a credit union. They are much more pleasant there too.

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avatar psd May 21, 2010 at 10:55 am

The credit unions are cracking down a bit too – I’ve been with Pt. Loma Credit Union as my primary bank for over 10 years, even while working for a regional S&L and later one of the big behemoth banks. They’ve downgraded my credit rating twice in the last year even though I’ve never missed a payment on my credit card or any of the 5 loans I’ve taken out (and paid all but one off) over that time…but the economy forces caution on everyone. A CU is still a far better choice than a bank, in my opinon.

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avatar Frank Gormlie May 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm

We were there today trying to reform the mega-banks. Watch KUSI tonight at 6 and 10pm. I was proud of OB – one third of our troupe were from OB – not counting me.

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