Ungodly: Bonuses At Goldman Sachs, Bankruptcies On Main Street
Hundreds of taxpayers converged in front of the Washington headquarters of Goldman Sachs with a basic demand for its CEO: Before you issue multibillion-dollar bonuses to your executives, help clean up the mess you and other Wall Street titans made on Main Street.
The protest organizers—National People’s Action and the Service Employees International Union—delivered a letter addressed to Blankfein calling for Goldman Sachs to direct a significant portion of the company's estimated $23 billion-dollar bonus pool to a fund to prevent home foreclosures.
They singled out as a key villain Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who drew fire for among other things being quoted in The London Times as saying he's "doing God's work."
The demonstration took place as Congress prepared to work on several important financial reform initiatives. The Senate Banking Committee will be marking up a bill that promises to reform regulation of financial markets, and the House Financial Services Committee will be working on legislation (HR 3904) designed to protect consumers from excessive overdraft fees on their checking accounts.
Expect financial industry lobbyists to be working overtime. Already, according to a Public Citizen report released November 16, the financial services industry has spent $15 million in campaign contributions to members of the House and Senate banking committees and a total of $42 million to all members of Congress. Public Citizen's president Robert Weissman calls that an investment of millions "in the very lawmakers who will decide the new rules of the road." It will take a lot of people power to overcome that flood of cash.