Goldman Attacks Occupy Wall Street’s Non-Profit Bank
When Goldman got huffy at a credit union honouring OWS and pulled its anniversary dinner funding, much more was at stake
Exclusive for The Guardian
by Greg Palast, the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores.
With Arun Gupta, founding editor of The Occupied Wall Street Journal.
Greg Palast reports from Occupied Wall Street for Democracy Now!
[Zuccotti Park, Wall Street, New York.]
Mega-bankÂ Goldman SachsÂ (assets $933bn), has declared war on one of the smallest banks inÂ New YorkÂ (assets $30m), the customer-owned community bankÂ that happens to also be the banker for Friends of Liberty Plaza, Inc, also known asÂ Occupy Wall Street. And you thought Goldman didn’t care.
The trouble began three weeks ago when the occupiers suddenly found their donation buckets filling with thousands of dollars, way more than needed for theirÂ pizza dinners. Suddenly, the anti-bank protesters needed a bank. Citibank and Chase certainly wouldn’t fit. So OWS opened an account at the not-for-profit LowerÂ East Side Peoples Federal Credit Union. Peoples has a unique federal charter â€“ designated to open accounts for low-income folk from all over NewYork, availableÂ to those families earning less than $38,000 per year. (Disclosure: the CEO of the Peoples bank is my dearly beloved ex. But that’s another story.)
Goldman Sachs had also joined up with the Peoples bank. Goldman partners reportedly earn a bit more than $38k per annum, yet Goldman’s association so farÂ was limited toÂ giving the credit union $5,000 toward the little bank’s 25th anniversary celebration dinner. Goldman’s largesse was acknowledged on the dinnerÂ invites â€“ along with the night’s honoree: Occupy Wall Street.
When a Goldman exec saw its gilded name next to Occupy Wall Street, …more