A site has been created called Occupy the Board Room which lists the executives of the following companies: Goldmans Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo. In this site, you may personally write a letter to the banker of your choice. These are emailed directly to their inbox (full email address are not disclosed due to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The site does state: “We hope you become pals <name of chosen banker> — but be sure to do it in a constructive manner that helps build the movement for a better world. DO NOT intimidate, harass or threaten anyone, no matter what you might think of them. “
Here are a few of the more heart-breaking letters sent.
We Can’t Get Away From You!
My wife Amanda and I are doing our best to raise our 14-month-old daughter Sigourney. But you’re making our job more difficult by pushing high-interest credit card debt and such. So, we’ve tried to move our money away from your institutions, but with limited success so far. You’re everywhere! Our checking and savings are in a credit union and community bank, but our credit card? Chase Bank. We purchase a home through Ryland Mortgage and who ends up buying our debt from Ryland? Bank of America. Honestly, we can’t get away from you! And with your negative impact on life around the world becoming more obvious every day, I think a large number of folks feel the same way we do. We want you to know what we experience every day. That’s why our friends are occupying Wall Street on our behalf. You simply must hear us instead of overlooking us as undesirable “investment opportunities.”
My hope is that Sigourney becomes an adult in a world where you simply don’t exist, at least in the same form and scale you enjoy now. In our hearts and minds, Sigourney is simply “too big to fail.” Can you hear us? Does our story of debt slavery make sense to you? Or, do we need to occupy another 1,000 cities before you stop your belligerent behavior? -Matthew Hunter
My Father’s Hands
Like you I’m from the Tar Heel state so I thought I’d tell you my story. A couple of years ago my father died waiting for a liver transplant. It was an ugly, horrible death and left me parentless while still in my 20s. My brother and I inherited the small ranch-style house my father worked his whole life to pay off. (Our mother died during our childhoods.) I wanted to take care of my father’s money so I invested it. Six months later I had lost over half of it when the crash happened. I lost half of my father’s life savings because of the corrupt practices of Wall Street. My father worked his whole life. He was the 11th child of a sharecropping family and was sent to the cotton fields before he was ten. He completed high school but there was no money for college so he went to work at blue-collar jobs which he used to support us his whole life.
When I think of the money I lost, I think of my father’s hands. I think of his broken, scarred hands that built a home and future for me. It wasn’t just money that Wall Street stole. Futures, trust, hard work and respect — those are the things Wall Street corruption has stolen from the American People, not just money. I don’t think everyone on Wall Street is corrupt, but the system is, and I want to do my part to correct it, even if it’s just writing a letter like this. I owe my father that. Mr. Bowles, I hope you do your part too. Because of your position, you are a powerful person in our society. So I ask you, how will you use your power? What will your legacy be? - Liza
We’ve Lost Hope
I am 55 years old, retired and on disability since 2000. I have aggressive rheumatoid arthritis. I have two prosthetic hips, two prosthetic knees, a prosthetic elbow, a C-spine fusion, two wrist fusions and two finger fusions. My husband is 75 years old. Between us, we get $36,000 in Social Security to live on. My out-of-pocket medical expenses alone are over $4,000 a year, and every year fewer and fewer doctors will participate in Medicare because of reduced reimbursements.
Washington is not hearing me and my husband. They are listening to the money that gets them elected; to the big corporations, to the big money on Wall Street.
America is becoming like feudal Europe, a land of lords and peasants. Can you not see where we are headed? Do you, in your heart, believe it is just and fair?
When you draw your last breath in this life, do you really want to think that you contributed to such a future?
You still have time to do the right thing.
Thank you for listening. -Liz Whelan
Small Business Owner: You Ruined My Family’s Life
When the big recession started, my wife and I had just completed a successful run of 10 years of operating a motel. We had worked hard to prove ourselves, and our business had continued to improve as it had never been for decades.
Sure, we had to live below the poverty level to do that, but the future of our business came first. As had been our experience since being teenagers and buying our first cars, showing good payment history was all it took to obtain financing.
But of course, things changed because the banking industry ruined everything. There wasn’t refinancing available for our balloon payment, and we lost everything to foreclosure.
Many area business were hurt by that foreclosure as suppliers lost good accounts. The ripple effect further damaged our local economy, and all of our weekly guests became homeless when we did.
Your industry did that, and it was because of greed. Plain and simple.
I hope you are enjoying your wealth. We aim to take it away from you and your industry. -Michael Kitchen
A Daughter’s Foreclosure
My daughter (with my son’s help) purchased a house five years ago in North Las Vegas, Nevada. My daughter’s home loan was for $280,000. After the housing fiasco, her house was worth less than $90,000. She tried, unsuccessfully, to renegotiate the loan with Bank of America. The company representative told her that the bank would not renegotiate the loan. Instead he told her to get a second job to help her pay the mortgage of over $2,000 per month. The house went into foreclosure, my son and daughter lost all the money they had invested in the home, and my daughter, her new husband and baby are living in a small apartment in Las Vegas. She is an elementary school teacher with a masters in education whose salary and benefits have been cut by the governor of Nevada significantly. Her husband is currently unemployed.
My house that I purchased in Ontario, California, seven years ago for $454,000 with a down payment of $190,000, is now worth $300,000. I can’t refinance because I don’t receive enough money each month. I am a retired schoolteacher who receives $24,000 per year. My mortgage payments are $24,000 per year. My son, who lives with me, is now unemployed.
The foreclosure mess is all YOUR fault! The lack of jobs is all YOUR fault! You and the large corporations are out to destroy this country with your greed!! THIS HAS GOT TO STOP IMMEDIATELY!
You need to be held responsible for your decisions; the consequences should be severe! Every one of the CEOs should be made to give his/her bonuses received during the years since 2008 to a fund to help those of us on Main Street; you should be fired from your position with no ability to work in the banking/investment industry again; you should have to appear in court for your criminal activities and should have to serve time as do all the other thieves in our country! You have robbed the middle class of their homes, their retirement accounts, and their jobs and YOU SHOULD BE MADE TO PAY!!! -Jerri-Beth Scott
Enough Wall Street Greed
I am a retired aerospace worker, living on Social Security and a modest pension. The actions of major corporate bankers peddling their toxic waste securities, has brought down not only our U.S. financial system, but also major European banks. To date I have lost two immediate neighbors, who lost their homes, and two of our three grown children require my help to survive in the economic wasteland your greed has created. Under some social systems, you should by this time have committed hara-kiri because of your shame.
Oh, I forgot, you people have no shame. -Joseph Kincheloe