Students in Berkeley made a valiant attempt to occupy the University of California. The result was seven arrests. Graduate student Andrew Snyder, 25, had this to say: "This just shows us how afraid they are of the Occupy movement."
There may be some truth to that observation. Just days after Bank Transfer Day, there are other indications the Occupation Movement is finding its center of gravity. Since the inception of the protests around the nation and the world, the dominant financial institutions have known they were the primary targets. The message has gained support, becoming more or less mainstream according to polling data.
This is why:
“Bank of America recently won approval for $410 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed Bank of America maximized overdraft fees by waiting to process debit transactions or changing the sequence of transactions. The lawsuit basically accused the bank of manipulating accounts for personal gain. The $410 million seems like a huge amount of money, until the gravity of the amount of money made off the fees by the bank is realized at $4.5 billion.”
Obviously, paying a $410 million fine versus $4.5 billion in profiteering on the backs of those who became B of A victims, is a winner. For the banks, that is.
This example is typical of how banks like B of A are actually encouraged to engage in illegal business practices by those with oversight responsibility. But there are signs that consumers are beginning to notice and they are not pleased. Yesterday, the banking industry once again dragged the entire stock market down to one of its worst days ever:
“WSJ: Banks Color the Day in Red”
“Financials and materials stocks, the worst-performing sectors this year, led Wednesday's declines . . . J.P. Morgan Chase fell 7.1%, Morgan Stanley tumbled 9% and Goldman Sachs Group shed 8.2%.”
So how much effect did Bank Transfer Day have on these mega-monopolies, or was Wednesday’s disaster strictly the result of problems in Europe?
“Chase refused a request for comment. Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace said in an e-mail, ‘We don’t have anything to share at this point on account closures.’”
We may be witnessing the practical effect of public awareness finally catching up with the banksters who have long enjoyed a cozy relationship with their supposed-regulators who, for the most, part sat around and watched when the economy tanked in October 2008. Now those same regulators promise “dramatic” law enforcement action. We’ll see.
It is generally agreed that Bank Transfer Day sent the message that the general population is not as stupid as operations like B of A would like to think, especially when they read articles like the one at the top of the page.
“Bank Transfer Day worked because it appealed to the many people who are not able, interested, or willing to take part in a camp-out protest.”
This is the desired-effect for those of us who understand that knowledge is the key to the Occupation Movement. For too long, Americans have been relegated to sheep status, the banks taking whatever they want, whenever they want from their customers, knowing that regulators are lapdogs in their business model.
Will enough people stand up and make their voices heard? Will they continue to close accounts at the rate we saw last weekend? If they do, they will prove that they have the ability to take back the power that the banks have presumed belongs to them once they come into possession of other people’s money.
Those that couldn’t close their accounts on Saturday, or didn’t understand the message, are coming around. Bank Transfer Day continues. And as the Occupation Movement spreads, as the public becomes more cognizant of the fact that millions of others share their contempt for scams like the one described above, they will take the proper action and simply close their accounts at Bank of America who have proven they are more interested profits than the long term interests of their customers.
“We ask for investigative action, and support all concurrent efforts by Treasury and Justice to hold accountable those parties responsible for the massive losses incurred by their procedures and practices. Specifically those practices that used artificial valuation or false pretenses to profit from the losses they intended to incur on depositors or investors, those that entrusted their money with them or their institutions.”