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'We know where the money is. It's not in grandma's pension...' Bank of America occupations begin in Obama's back yard in Washington, D.C.

While most of the attention of militant organizers across the USA was focused on the Midwest and the struggles to stop the Republican Party's attacks on public employee unions, National Peoples Action and others have begun occupations of Bank of American branches. Beginning on March 7, with a march and occupation of Bank of America in Washington, D.C., the group took the slogan "Make Wall Street Pay!" to a new level a few blocks from Barack Obama, his Wall Street coterie of advisors, and Arne Duncan.

THE URL for the video for those who can't get the hotlink above is:

http://showdowninamerica.org/news/npa-grittv-make-wall-street-pay/030711

Chicago banker Norman Bobins (above, center, promoting additional charter schools for Chicago at the Chicago Board of Education's meeting of February 23, 2011) has been a member of the school board since July 1995, when mayor control was invented in Chicago and the models for what is now the national program to privatize public education began in Chicago under Mayor Richard M. Daley. Bobins, like his fellow Board members, is a multi-millionaire. As President and CEO of Chicago's LaSalle Bank, Bobins engineered the sale of LaSalle Bank to Bank of America two years ago. The sale resulted in millions of dollars for Bobins and the loss of thousands of jobs for Chicagoans who had worked, often for decades, for LaSalle Bank. Above, Bobins was going over charter school questions, while Roxanne Ward (Ariel Capital Management) and Clare Munana (international consultant on "globalization") look on during the Board meeting. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.In Chicago, no actions are yet announced. The sale two years ago of Chicago's LaSalle Bank to Bank of American cost thousands of Chicagoans their jobs, while LaSalle Bank President Norman Bobins (also a member of the Chicago Board of Education) walked away with a golden parachute in excess of ten million dollars and a "directorship" at an outfit called "PrivateBank" that pays him in excess of one million dollars per year for part-time work. Bobins, who has been finance capital's eyes and ears on the Chicago Board of Education since mayoral control began in 1995 with the passage of the Amendatory Act that gave Chicago's mayor complete control over the schools, has long been the most important ruling class presence in public education in Chicago, keeping a close eye on the massive privatization programs that resulted in Chicago having pioneered most of the parts of what has since become the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" program.

Following the sale of LaSalle Bank to Bank of American, Bank of American ruthlessly purged many of the workers at the bank (including many mid-level "managers" who thought their loyalty had bought them security) as part of the "synergy" of consolidation.

Bank of America even cut all community programs (except the lucrative and highly visible "Chicago Marathon") that were once the pride of the smaller capitalist entities in the city. Prior to the Bank of America takeover in Chicago, for example, LaSalle Bank co-sponsored a thing called "Teacher Appreciation Day" with the Chicago White Sox. On those four days per baseball season, White Sox tickets had been available to teachers at a discount of 75 percent. The concept of "Teacher Appreciation Day" from the White Sox stretched back to the days when the Sox were owned by Bill Veck (and in some years, teachers received free tickets to the "Teacher Appreciation Day" games). Within one year, the cost of a "Teacher Appreciation" ticket to the White Sox games on that day doubled, while Bank of America abandoned any pretext of appreciating the teachers of Chicago and the Chicago area.

National Peoples Action occupying the lobby of one of the Washington, D.C. branches of Bank of America on March 7, 2011, beginning the mobilization for "Make Wall Street Pay."At Substance press time, it was not known how many other Bank of America occupations were planned.

BELOW IS THE FACTSHEET ON BANK OF AMERICA PUBLISHED ON LINE BY NATIONAL PEOPLES ACTION

Bank of America - FACT SHEET

Bank of America has most homes facing foreclosure in the country.

FACT: Bank of America services 1.1 million home loans facing foreclosure (over 60 days delinquent) under the Making Home Affordable (HAMP) program. This is more than double the loan amount of the next largest mortgage servicer in the program. Bank of America has modified loans at the lowest rate of any of the major banks.

FACT: Bank of America made permanent loan modifications loans to only 56,500 borrowers, or 5.2% of their total eligible loans under HAMP (as of April 2010 last date when data was publicly available).

Bank of America continues to foreclose on more homes than any other bank.

FACT: B of A has not extended a permanent loan modification to over 900,000 struggling homeowners facing foreclosure under the HAMP program.

FACT: Bank of America is the financial institution with the most foreclosures in the city of Chicago as well as in many other major urban areas.

Bank of America has spent millions in lobbying operations to fight common sense reforms that would protect American consumers.

FACT: BofA spent $16.1 million on lobbying in 2008 and 2009. In the first quarter of 2010, the bank spent an additional $1.1 million.

FACT: BofA spent millions to oppose bills like the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights and the Foreclosure Prevention Act, Helping Families Save their Homes Act, Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, all of which would have directly benefited consumers.

Bank of America paid out billion of dollars in bonuses during the height of the financial crisis.

FACT: In 2009 B of A paid out $31.5 Billion in compensation and bonuses. Also paid $3.3 Billion in bonuses 2008 while the company received an initial $25 Billion in public support. B of A-owed Merrill Lynch, who invested heavily in subprime loans, paid out 3.6 billion in bonuses in 2008.

Bank of America has profited from the financial crisis while becoming the country’s largest financial institution.

FACT: Bank of America makes 1 out 5 home loans in the country. The bank nearly quadrupled their market share of the US home mortgage market during the financial crisis, growing from 5.1% market share in 2006 to 19% in 2009. (Source Media, Mortgagestats.com)

FACT: Bank of America is now the largest single home loan servicer nationwide and collects payment on one out of every four home loans nationwide. B of A services $2.1 trillion in residential mortgages controlling a massive 25.3% of the lucrative home loan servicing market, up from 5.6% market share in 2007.

FACT: B of A bought billions of dollars in rights to Countrywide’s subprime loans and is now looks to profit off of these distressed loans as the foreclosure crisis continues.

FACT: Bank of America’s Net Income for 2009 was $6.3 billion and reported $3.2 Billion in 2010 1st Quarter Profits, signaling the bank has recovered from the financial crisis.

Bail Out and Government Assistance Received

FACT: Bank of America has received public bailouts and loan guarantees totaling $199.2 billion plus an undisclosed amount from the Federal Reserve’s $8 trillion in emergency programs. This includes $45 Billion in TARP funds.

Bank of America Actions During the Housing Bubble:

FACT: Bank of America provided funding to major subprime mortgage lenders. The bank packaged $320 billion worth of subprime loans from 2004 to 2007 doing business with all of the largest subprime lenders: Countrywide, Ameriquest, New Century, and First Franklin.

Additional Information:

CEO: Bryan T. Moynihan

CEO Compensation since 2004: $59,000,000

Federal taxpayer bailout funds received: $199.2 billion

Profits for 2009: $6.3 billion

Bank account fees for 2009: $11.0 billion

Credit card income for 2009: $8.4 billion

Median BofA bank teller wage: $10.73/hour, $22,328/year

2009 bonus and compensation pool: $31.5 billion

Offshore subsidiaries in tax havens (Dec '08): 143

Lobbying fees paid in 2008 and 2009: $16.1 million

Bank of America Bank Regulation & Accountability Big bank bonuses Reports and Publications by NPA



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