Mad at Banksters? In or Near Chicago Oct. 25-27? You Can Do Something About It!

Dean Baker, a couple of days ago at Huffington Post, called on readers to go to Chicago to participate in peaceful protests during the annual meetings of the American Bankers Association on October 25 to 27. A coalition of community, labor, and consumer groups are organizing this “Showdown in Chicago.”

If you saw Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, a disconcerting bit was his discussion of a series of research reports put out by Citigroup for some of its asset management clients in 2005 on “Plutonomy”. It argued that a world ordered to suit the whims of the top 1% was well underway. The only thing that might get in the way was that the other 99% had the force of numbers on its side.

Sometimes it takes a show of numbers to change the dynamic. As Baker pointed out:

The elites hate to acknowledge it, but when large numbers of ordinary people are moved to action, it changes the narrow political world where the elites call the shots. Inside accounts reveal the extent to which Johnson and Nixon’s conduct of the Vietnam War was constrained by the huge anti-war movement. It was the civil rights movement, not compelling arguments, that convinced members of Congress to end legal racial discrimination. More recently, the townhall meetings, dominated by people opposed to health care reform, have been a serious roadblock for those pushing reform….

A big turnout at this event can make a real difference. Just to review the scorecard, most of the country is still suffering the fallout from the bankers’ irrational exuberance of the housing bubble era. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other forecasters expect the suffering to endure for years to come.

As we noted yesterday, ordinary people who still have jobs are often seeing their wages cut, while Wall Street, the beneficiary of rich subsidies, is expecting a banner year.

If you live in or near Chicago, see if you can organize others to join you. And dress nicely! One favorite strategy is to dismiss protestors as ruffians.

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  1. eh

    Waste of time. Besides, it might be cold.

    End ‘too big to fail’, and boot them out if they do (fail, that is).

  2. ZackAttack

    Your only effective protest is to deleverage – use no credit, eliminate all discretionary spending, pull your cash out of the system.

  3. Yves Smith Post author

    With a citizenry like this, we are getting what we deserve.

    eh, so how do you propose exactly to end TBTF? The banking classes that hold the reins of power are all aligned against you. Unless the pols have reason to take your view seriously, that idea has no franchise in Congress, certainly not among regulators. The official policy is “No More Lehmans.”

    1. MG

      Agreed. You have nitwits like Zack whose solutions are unrealistic and largely ridiculous or ‘eh’ who just won’t bother.

  4. Unemployed Saver

    I like this idea, and have been waiting for one’s like these. But I think its needed to happen in EVERY CITY in the US. And not just for 1 day, or 1 weekend. It should be a weekly event, everywhere.

    And more and more blogs (since the MSM won’t) need to point to the way’s in which “We the People” have been ripped off, by the banks and their subordinates in Government.

    “We the People, For the People” needs to be repeated over and over again.

    And if that doesn’t work, vote! I’ve already made my decision to vote for anyone other then the Dems or Reps. (Im not saying that any 3rd party is better than another, but since we seen to be stuck with 2 idiotic and moronic parties who need our vote to get into office, might as well show them that we can vote for a third and will exercise our right.)

    Lastly, thank you Yves for your blog. I’ve been reading it daily for over a year now, and you’ve turned me onto other blogs that matter. But I feel like your blog and others like yours need to go one step further. You need to point those of use that care and want change to all the demonstrations that your familiar with. In my opinion thats the problem with blogs and the net in general. There’s so much information with so many points of view that their is no unified effort or voice to collect the masses. So thank you for posting this, and for the one you posted about a year ago regarding another civic protest, but please, if you know of more, point it out.

  5. DoctoRx

    1. Dress like a banker!

    2. Zack’s not an idiot. As much as possible, I think that people should use locally owned financial institutions-the ones that are getting scrooged by Big Finance. And we should abjure personal debt, except for basic things such as a self-amortizing mortgage, professional school, etc.

  6. bd

    I agree completely with Zack. “use no credit, eliminate all discretionary spending, pull your cash out of the system.”

    Bankers aren’t democratically elected. A protest rally against them will be met with nothing but laughter. These aren’t union employees going to protest their corporate employer about wages and benefits. The link between ordinary “citizens” and the ABA is too distant in this instance.

    Besides, it’s not as if we need to go that far back in time to recall that the millions upon millions who protested before the US invasion of Iraq (I happened to be among the protesters on that frigid February day) were able to accomplish squat.

    Hit the banks and moneyed interests where it hurts, in their life-blood. Stop all discretionary spending and use only cash on the necessaries.

  7. econin1lesson


    Actually student loans and home mortgages / helocs are how they get you. The FED is the ultimate culprit, but the government tells the banks they (meaning the american taxpayer sheeple) will pay if loans default. But for the idiots who pay their student loans, they will never amass any wealth in their lifetime- and most kids carry revolving credit card balances that further deflate their wages. By the time they ever save for 20% down (who can afford that anymore) they walk into a bank and strap themselves to the gurney for 30 years- and they are considered “smart” or they pay points and refi charges on 5/1 arms.

    People used to have jobs in this country but not long ago people started their own businesses – and the sba co-opted that too by spreading the losses of 80% of the businesses that fail every five years- across the heavy burdened taxpayers.

    Lots of people have subsidized children at a cost to taxpayers.

    Now banks and the FDIC, fannie and freddie, GM, AIG, and anyone else too big to fail wants to burden the still lucky to be working but soon to be unemployed americans.
    Still, when more money is needed they work “for the children” by mortgaging their futures!


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