Sunday, April 12, 2009

Join a New Way Forward Protest on April 11th to Break up Banks "Too Big to Fail"

By Donny Shaw

BuzzFlash Note: BuzzFlash fully supports the "New Way Forward" movement to fundamentally change the finance/banking system in the United States and to punish those who made our taxpayers pick up a $2 trillion tab for fraud, abuse and greed. Citizen protest is a vital part of a vibrant and progressive democracy. Join the "New Way Forward" demonstrations on April 11th.

Another day, another sign that the people in charge of our economy are looking out for the banks, not the public. The Financial Accounting Standards Board's decision on Thursday to let banks report the value of their toxic assets however they choose, regardless of what anyone is actually willing to pay for them, only serves to increase secrecy and manipulation in the financial sector. It's a politically motivated decision that gives banks a quick way to inflate their balance sheets without doing anything to address the underlying problems with their holdings.

The AIG bonuses, the Geithner subsidy plan, the mark to market changes -- Americans are seeing the pattern of protection for Wall Street, and we're angry. But unlike the media's fantasy of an irrational working-class mob seeking revenge on the first Wall St. executive they can find, our anger is targeted at the systematic injustices in America right now that continually provide for the financial elite and neglect the millions unemployed and foreclosed. If we are going to fight back, we are going to go straight at the root of the problem -- the collusion between Wall Street and Washington that leaves the rest of us behind.

As the banks grew bigger and bigger until they were "too big to fail," they also became so politically powerful that they are now immune to ordinary actions from our government. Decades of unprecedented campaign funding and political access have led to a gray area between Washington and Wall St. where it's uncertain who is on which side and people move back and forth fluidly between the two realms. Bankers have ingratiated themselves in our politics and sold to both major parties the belief that what is good for them is also good for the public at large. Now we have let this free-market fundamentalism run its course and it has led America to a complete economic meltdown. But the people in charge of our government and our economy have built their power on this intertwining of interests and they remained determined not to shake up the system.

They only way to end the bonus loopholes for executives, the blind-eye regulatory system and the trickle-up profit machine is for the bankers in power to be removed and the banks that caused this mess to be broken up. They need to be taken out of the equation so our policy-makers can operate with political independence to make decisions that protect the public. Can this be done? In a word, yes. It will be an epic struggle, but if we the people can find the courage to trust our guts and take on the economic injustices that have become so painfully obvious, this is precisely the kind of thing that America can overcome.

On April 11th, people across the country will take to the streets to show President Obama and Congress that there is political support for a progressive approach to fixing the economy. Fourteen days ago, a new grassroots initiative to demand structural change in the banking sector -- A New Way Forward -- was launched. In just two weeks, the group has grown from four people to over six thousand. Individuals have stepped up in 58 cities to organize protests to break up the banks; thousands have pledged to attend. Here is the plan:

NATIONALIZE: Insolvent banks that are too big to fail must incur a temporary FDIC intervention. No more blank check taxpayer handouts.

REORGANIZE: Current CEOs and board members must be removed and bonuses wiped out. The financial elite must share in the cost of what they have caused.

DECENTRALIZE: Banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with new antitrust rules in place -- new banks, managed by new people. Any bank that's "too big to fail" means that it's too big for a free market to function.

Breaking up the banks is not a contrarian call to protest, it is a practical step our country must take right now if we are to have the independence to rebuild our economy so that it is sustainable, free, and in the interest of all people. The people in charge of our country consider these issues of decentralization secondary. They are determined to reset the status quo of the banking sector as soon as possible, and then take a stab at regulation. But if we re-inflate the banks without addressing the fundamental issues plaguing our economic and political systems, our chance as a country to tackle the power that the financial industry holds over our democracy will pass us by. The collusion between policy makers and bankers will be further cemented and we will have to wait until the next crisis (which will be much worse, and soon) takes its toll on working Americans.


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

No comments: