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99% Movement Pushes Back on Bank of America

99% Movement Pushes Back on Bank of America

This week, I was given the opportunity to travel to Charlotte, NC for Bank of America’s annual shareholders meeting. In the last month or so, activism has moved to another level by utilizing corporate rules in order to gain entry into the once a year affair with people buying a single share or standing in as proxies for another party.

Inside, CEOs must face the frustrated shareholders and at least attempt to answer their questions. Many probably have not been so close to the growing contempt from the 99 percent. These shareholder meetings offer a unique opportunity, despite the limited time for questions and the manner in which the meetings take place.

CEO Brian Moynihan heard from foreclosure victims, environmentalists and advocates against the payday loan industry. Moynihan offered assistance and a meeting with bank representatives after a couple people stressed the difficulty of obtaining a loan modification. In which an organizer with the National People’s Action spoke up:

“So what we have to do to get loan modifications is to buy a stock, stand in line for two hours, get shook down by the police, get intimidated by other security just so we can get a loan modification.”

Outside nearly 1,000 people gathered around an enormous ball and chain emblazoned with the word “DEBT.” A few people spoke of the pain and suffering Bank of America’s business practices have caused them. Maria Reyes spoke with me (through a translator) about why she traveled from California to be there.

While Maria’s family suffers the consequences of BofA’s recklessness with our economy, the bank continues to profit. From 2008 to the early part of 2012, Bank of America has spent more than $25 million in lobbying and political campaign contributions. In return, the bank received $5 billion in tax refunds over the three year span of 2009-2011.

Ugh. Just that right there should be enough reason for anyone of us to take to the streets or try to press a Fortune 500 CEO during a public shareholders meeting.

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Photo by Aaron Krager

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20 comments

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1:36PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Capitalism is not destroying the communities.; What is destroying is ignorance and political tax giveaways. It is the greed of the political representatives who give away the land and taxes.

4:27AM PDT on May 17, 2012

BMutiny T, exactly right.

The banks told everyone their home could NEVER lose value. They ran TV commercials 24/7 encouraging people to jump into the real estate market and start buying homes and flipping them for a profit. They engaged in fraud at many different levels.

1:50PM PDT on May 16, 2012

I remember, back when I owned a house, there were all these mailings and propaganda saying that I should "take out another mortgage" just as if my Home Equity was a "savings account" I could dip into, for fun things I wanted!
Sure glad I "smelled a rat" and did NOT fall for those banks' blandishments! I certainly didn't NEED a loan -- but the Banksters were trying to get me, with all sorts of pleasing promises, to take one out ANYWAY! And my home would be the rock-solid foundation for the loan, no problem....... uh-huh, yeah.
I owned my home "in the clear", was able to sell it at a good profit, and downpay for TWO homes, one for myself and one for my daughter.....
This all took place before the whole bubble burst. And now the Banksters BLAME THE VICTIMS WHO FELL FOR THEIR "IRRESISTIBLE" PROPAGANDA AND COMPLETELY FAKED, LYING TERMS OF OFFER.......

1:11PM PDT on May 14, 2012

"As the twig is bent,l so the tree shall grow." Friends, we see before us a really bent tree! Romney for firewood!

1:03PM PDT on May 11, 2012

good luck to them

12:55PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Oh and this is not capitolism this is corporate Socialism and stealing of america.

12:51PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Thank you brave 99% for getting organized and now targeting the crooks that took down our economy and our jobs with their melt down. Bye, bye, homes and jobs, hello big bonuses for the crooks. Where are our politicans and good sound regulations for the consumers?

12:44PM PDT on May 11, 2012

This is where capitalism fails us. Business, and from there corporations, including banks, all receive their right to operate from the foundation of the community. It was within communities, and their drive to create comfortable living conditions for their friends and others that people offered their services for trade or sale.

Capitalist corporations are unconnected with their communal roots, gutting communities when they move to find greener pastures, worrying more about their profits at the expense of their communities. They are bound to the same self-centered greed of their shareholders rather than to the communities that gave them life in the first place.

As those communities suffer today, they still strive to amass money for their shareholders at the expense of their communities. Money is more important the lending a helping hand. This is the problem that OWS is protesting against. The very nature of unrestricted capitalism is grow and amass money without regard to health, happiness or anything that does not serve the bottom line. Capitalism is destroying our communities, our nation and the world at large.

8:23AM PDT on May 11, 2012

sometimes I'm just too pissed to comment.

8:22AM PDT on May 11, 2012

ty

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