letters and counting!
Jamie! Happy Hump Day! We're almost at the weekend, thank goodness. Got any big plans? I had been planning to go visit some friends at Occupy Oakland, but then that whole debacle happened last night. I mean, to be fair, the protesters TOTALLY had it coming. Come on! Like there's some sort of "law" regarding "peaceable assembly"! As if! Look, I think all reasonable people can agree that the police have to be able to break up dangerous groups of people doing stuff like "dancing in the street" and "helping to feed and clothe each other" and "addressing the government for grievances." That stuff could get out of hand FAST. Anyway, WHATEVER. This isn't about that. This is about MONEY. Dude, apparently you got a stock bonus of $17,000,000 last year? In addition to your salary of $16,000,000? That's (hold on... carry the one...) THIRTY THREE MILLION DOLLARS? So cool. I mean, really, that's so cool considering how just the year before your company helped to nearly bring down the global economy and had to borrow $100,700,000,000 (billion with a b!) from the government just to get by. That's a pretty big turnaround. And it's obvious that I didn't go to business school, because I would have assumed that if you, as the boss and everything, suddenly found yourself ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS in the hole you'd, you know, have to "resign". Or maybe get arrested for posing a danger to the public welfare! Haha just kidding! Nobody deserves that! So, Jamie: I was doing some quick math (I used a calculator). The IRS apparently took in $2,345,000,000,000 in taxes in 2010 (good year for them!), of which I paid $2,728, or 1.16x10(-9)% of the total income, which is $117. So I kind of feel like $117 of the money you received in federal bailouts came from me! You haven't yet personally thanked me, but I know there are a lot of people to thank, and if you're doing it alphabetically (I know I would!) I'll be right around the middle somewhere. I expect you'll get to me by, say, 2017. LET ME SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE: I know you're thankful, and you're very welcome. But... um... this is a little awkward to ask (sorry for burying the lead here). I was kind of hoping you'd lend me $117? You KNOW I'd do the same for you, Jamie. I already did! And I know my loan came "no questions asked" but I'm a TERRIBLE businessman, and you're not, so I suspect you'd like to know what I'm going to spend it on. NO PROBLEM. 3 bananas: $0.41 (these will be a gift) 1 baby elephant stuffed animal: $12.99 (this is for me) 1 copy of Glenn Greenwald's new book "With Liberty and Justice for Some": $26.00 (what can I say? I love fiction!) 1 "rustic wood shelf" from Pottery Barn: $65 (my old one's not quite rustic enough) Sales tax: $10.24 (always gotta pay taxes, right? right?) Total: $114.64 I haven't figured out how to spend the other $2.36... oh, do you need a cup of hot chocolate? I could bring one to you. It's totally the least I could do for your willingness to lend me the money. Does PayPal work for you? Let me know. Hope you're having a great day! Smooches, Dave
FORECLOSURE | 67
I had 819 credit. A job. $155K down on a 255K house. Chase took it. I had an automobile accident and a head injury and couldn't work. I missed payments for awhile, but the fees and penalties were too much even after resuming payments... I couldn't keep up. I didn't have health care/insurance. I had only comprehensive insurance to protect other people. Single car accident, rollover. No drinking, no drugs, no speeding, I pulled over to let other cars pass and lost footing on the gravel road. I was one of those no accident/no ticket drivers; a calculated risk after decades of full coverage, which I couldn't afford any more. I tried to sell the house, but no one could qualify to buy. Chase would not help me continue to pay and stay in my home. They wanted all of the fees and the penalties, etc which continue to accrue even after a Ch. 13 to restructure mu debt after resuming work. They sold the house anyway and for less than my down payment. I was a close to suicide as I've ever been, and even now it's a consideration. They took all I had. I can't come up with another 155K in my lifetime, I'm too old and the jobs pay very little. I work 3 jobs and 60 hrs week and I'm just barely getting by. Laura Braidhill Brush Prairie
What is enough? | 52
Mr. Johnson: My name is David Lynch. I am a solo-preneur with my own graphic design business. Up until a few years ago, I didn’t mind working 60, 70, 80 hours a week, because I was building something for myself. In my mid 40s, I was able to buy my first home. I started building a SEP account for my retirement. I was close to meeting my financial goals. Then, the housing market tanked, and 75% of my diverse clientele either went bankrupt or cut back dramatically, leaving me with 1/4 of the workload I once had. I decided to act in the most financially responsible way I could. I agreed to a short sale of my home, but my bank wouldn’t forgive the deficiency, so I went bankrupt to protect myself from that debt. Though I have simplified my life to the bare essentials, I still struggle to find enough work to meet basic expenses. I’m not complaining - I’m simply laying out the state of my life and how it’s changed in the last few years. I’m learning to find satisfaction in simple things, like a warm, sunny day when I can go outside and listen to the birds, or a tight embrace from my daughter. I’m learning not to focus so much on the material things I may or may not have, but rather to find contentment in the relationships I have, and be satisfied that I have access to enough food, clothing and shelter to live simply, in relative comfort. On occasion, I think about someone of your stature and wonder if you ever feel that sense of satisfaction? Is there ever a moment when you lean back in your executive chair, or in your garden chair and say to yourself, “Ahh! I’ve finally got enough. I am thoroughly satisfied with all I have!”? Or once an acquisition is completed, do you experience an anticlimactic sensation that leaves you hungry for the next merger, the next financial triumph? John Muir once said of billionaire railroad magnate E.R. Harriman, “I have all the money I want, and he hasn’t.” Do you think you’ll ever reach a point when you have all the money you want - a time you can relax and enjoy the fruit of your labors? If not, and you continue on the quest for more riches, what goal do you hope to attain, besides increasing your net worth? How will you know when you reach that goal? You might well say to me, “Wait a minute, Mr. Lynch, do you have all the money you want?” And I would have to truthfully answer, “No.” I want to be able to send my daughter to college, to provide decent health care for my family, to build a nest egg that affords a modest retirement. I do not currently have sufficient funds to accomplish these things. Those are my goals, and once I reach them, I will be able to say, “I’ve got enough.” I wonder: if a few of the most wealthy people in our country were capable of saying “I’ve got enough”, might there be enough for Americans like myself to meet our modest financial goals? And if that doesn’t happen, aren’t you at all concerned about the vast number of Americans who are beginning to stand up and say “I’ve had enough!” and have begin to work collectively to change the unfair distribution of wealth as it currently stands? I hope that you can see outside your personal realm and consider that the question “What is enough?” applies not only to your own personal estate and family, but also to the needs of the entire nation. We are all in this together. What you do affects the rest of us, and what we do also has the potential to affect you. I hope you consider helping create a nation where we all have enough. The rest of us are on that path. Our current call to action is “We are the 99%.” However, I look forward to the day we can say, “We are the 100%.” Enough said.
dear mr blankfein, Manipulating the economy and stealing pensionfunds with high frequency trading is not a job it requires no skill or intelligence nor does it contribute anything to the well being of the society more likely it will cause the opposite. Beside controlling the FED/treasury makes it even easier to make money due to 0% interest rates and deregulations. Anyways thanks for destroying the global economy at least people are now waking up to your ponzi schemes and maybe there can come something good out of it, i don’t blame you it’s the system itself that create your kind of people. If you are interested in contributing something for the whole of the society check out www.thevenusproject.com. Sincerely one of the many people’s future you destroyed or might have rebuild, Arnout
Hello, Edith | 35
I certainly hope you are well. I remember in February of 2008, when you were speaking at the HBS Women's Association of Greater New York. You remember, don't you? You spoke about "Finding Balance in Investing, Work and Life". How wonderful for you. I mean, in light of the fact that you apparently hadn't a clue. Long ago, at least 2 decades ago, a very wise old woman spoke to me of balance. She was old, Edith. Her face was as lined as those old puckered apple dolls that children and their grandmothers used to make. She was poor in the way of material things, as many wise old ones are. But her eyes sparkled with both kindness and a sense of humor. She spoke of what a great thing it was that woman had moved out into the work place, as highly educated participants in what had once been an all male domain. She felt it to be an empowering thing overall, but issued, also, a warning. A caveat of sorts. She said that woman hold a sacred responsibility. (Those were her words, Edith) And that those women who moved into that once all male domain, ran the risk of forgetting what their sacred responsibility was. That women tend to accommodate the males around them. This is neither good or bad. It is just a woman's way. But that if she accommodated too far, in the testosterone laden atmosphere, she would forget her true power, and trade it in for the power of becoming "an apprenticed male". Well, I of course asked her to speak more and to explain. And she said that woman carry a greater capacity for compassion. For empathy. For seeing the interconnectedness between people and within systems. And were better able to consider the effects upon the children, the elders, and the infirm, in most decision making processes. Being in the highly competitive arena such as those that were once a male only arena, can often cut a woman off from the very traits any culture needs. For what is a culture without compassion? Without empathy? Without a recognition of our interconnectedness? Interesting. Goldman Sachs, which you have obviously thought a great place to work, couldn't even balance its books. Goldman Sachs, required a bail out from the 99%, to the tune of $63.6 Billion. And even though that was the case, Goldman Sachs reported profits for 2009-2010 in the $21.7 Billion range. Yet, Goldman Sachs has made political contributions, in excess of 8.4 Million, which appears to be a bit dodgy, doesn't it? Not to mention the frank and outright lobbying Goldman Sachs has done .. another $11.2 Million. Perhaps, Edith, you would do well to contemplate the topic of balance a bit more. To help you with this here are some other words: Balance. Harmony. Proportion. Symmetry. These are the things which are missing at Goldman Sachs. And were stolen from the people of our great nation, Edith. Indeed they were stolen from every country involved in our global economy, It is time to wake up, Edith. Sleep is done now. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Sincerely, the 99%
from a 9th grader | 34
For the past three years, I’ve been watching and reading the news everyday. America is getting worse and worse as I come closer to college and adulthood, even though no one in power seems to care. I have to read about how college doesn’t really help people get jobs later on in life and how millions of students are in debt from loans for college. What hope do I have for my future then? Unless I go to an excellent university or have a huge stroke of luck, it looks like me and the rest of my generation are doomed to a life of poverty and sorrow. Americans are struggling to get by and what do you do- you start charging people $5 a month to use their own money. Where is the fairness in this? How could a bank as huge as yours ever need more money? People are suffering and you and the rest of the 1% aren’t helping matters. My sister is in college and she has been using a Bank of America debit card for years to make her life easier. Now my family has one more charge to pay each month and though $5 might not seem like much to you, it is. My father uses your card too and my twin brother and I will do the same when we go to college. That’s $20 a month: $240 a year extra because you had “the right to charge more” or whatever it is your company has claimed. Then there’s my uncle, the smartest person I know. He graduated from Brown University with a major in engineering and now he’s barely getting by with a very unstable job. What is the fairness in that? My old babysitter, a soccer star who graduated from Rutgers with a major in journalism five years ago, has only just gotten a low-paying job and has been forced to live with her micro-managing parents. What is the fairness in that? I know no one is completely evil, so no one would intentionally hurt a country just to hurt a country. So don’t you and your company have it your hearts to help America, the country that gave you all the money and power you now enjoy? I’m asking you, not as a rude teenager, but as just another person, to help this country. Start hiring more and encourage economic growth. Won’t that help Bank of America as well as the US? Please, just start acting like you care. ~Lauren G.
Wish You Were There! | 33
Hi Peter, Glad you’re my new pen pal. I was wondering what to write about, since I don’t know you personally, so I thought I’d tell you a little story. Once upon a time a family bought a house. It was nothing to scream about, just a modest 925 square foot, 2-bedroom place where they could live together happily. But it was expensive because they live in a pricey town. Their scummy mortgage broker convinced them they could afford this house, and they were so excited they jumped at the chance to get it. They managed the payment for four long years, racking up credit card debt here and there when things were tight and they needed groceries. One day they realized they just couldn’t make it any more. They owed too much in credit card debt, and their home was underwater in value. So, they asked their mortgage company, Citimortgage, to help them out with the new loan modification plan offered by the government. Citimortgage said, “Sure, you qualify! Just ay this lower payment for three months and then we’ll make it permanent.” The family was ecstatic and paid the lower payment for three months, then six months, until, eight months later, Citimortgage told them they made a mistake and the family actually didn’t qualify. This was awful news, but the worst news was that Citimortgage expected the family to pay the difference from the eight months of lower payments, which equalled $18,000. Of course, the family didn’t have $18,000 and so they had to sell their house. The family begged and pleaded with Citimortgage to modify their loan so they could stay, but the bank refused. Eventually, the family did follow through with a short sale, selling the house for more than $200,000 less than they originally paid for it. Why would the bank sell the home for so much less rather than work with the struggling family? Maybe you can tell me the moral of the story. Thanks, -Andrea
To Whom It May Concern, I write to you today to express my grievances. I do not blame you for choices I have made in my life. I was fully aware that I wanted to be an artist and that, oftentimes, that meant that I would be on the poor side. I have been and will continue to be ever-welcoming of this. It is often misunderstood that, in this day and age, if you are not money hungry, you are lazy. I would like you to know that I am not. I have worked my entire adult life. All of it. I have never been on unemployment. I held jobs while I was in high school and college. And, after, I put in long hours to pay my rent and bills, so that I can have the remaining hours to work on my craft. And, with all of that, I have only occasionally had the luxury of healthcare. My fiancee has worked her entire life as well and, as an artist, she, too worked with the same understanding as I-that we would not always and maybe never have much money. But, we love what we do. Two years ago, she slipped on black ice and injured her back so severely that she could not turn her head for months after and is currently still working to gain her strength back. We did not have healthcare then. We are still struggling to pay bills back. And, again, I say this not to blame you for accidents or choices. I say this for you to understand that we are not asking to be rich. We are not wanting communism. We want to be able to see doctors and afford food and housing. I'd like you to look some of us in the eyes and say we and our families do not deserve that. My older brother has a wife and three kids and has worked the same job since graduating high school. He is a skilled craftsman, but is in danger of losing his job now. He and his wife work full time and more to support their three kids. They need more space as their children grow. But, the housing market and my brother's job situation prevents them from doing so. I see that my brother's eyes are tired and stressed. My father passed away young from a heart condition that was compounded by stress-the stress of raising a family and serving our country for almost two decades in the navy. And I look at my brother and see what it is to keep a young family afloat in our time. No one in my family profited from stocks or investing in toxic mortgages. And, yet, we have bailed you out from your involvement. We have bailed you out with our hard-earned money that could have gone towards healthcare, that could have gone to children's educations, that could have gone to food or a home. And we have received nothing back. We have been bled dry so that you do not go bankrupt. And your attitude towards us remains indifferent. You honestly feel that the piles of money and profits that you sit on are all your hard-earned dollars. And you have the gall to balk at the idea of paying us back. You have corrupted our government so that no one holds you accountable for the destruction that you have done. And I do not hold you accountable for that. I hold our government and its poor morals and standards accountable for that. But, I do hold you accountable for the pollution of our economy and our environment. What I see from you is a hellbent lack of consideration for humanity. And you can sit and pretend that everyone is lazy. You can sit and pretend that dumping pollutants into our water system and into our air (because its cheaper that way) only affect the "poor" and "lazy" people who cannot afford proper healthcare or the proper education to get themselves out of the ghettoes you created for them. But, these things that you do will and do affect you and your family. And, if you cannot see that and refuse to change, refuse to see that what the 99% ask for is not your wealth but the slightest bit of a nod to show that you actually give a shit about anyone else but yourself, I pray that you are prepared to look your children in the eye and beg for their forgiveness for destroying the future of the world and environment that they live in. Sincerely, Shane Portman Shane Portman 90038
Vikram, my man! How are you holding up? Not too well, I imagine. I saw how over the past five weeks something like a million customers left their banks to join Credit Unions because of twaddle like "you guys being human leeches" or whatever. BULL (like that statue on Wall Street!). Please note I will NEVER abandon you, Vikram. Not even if you knowingly defraud your customers. Oh hey, on an unrelated note, I saw how your company had to pay a $285,000,000 settlement because you knowingly defrauded your customers, and how the SEC made you "promise" not to do it again. CHUMPS. Remember how you made the same "promise" not to defraud your customers in July of 2010, and in May of 2006, and in March of 2005, and in April of 2000? I guess they don't! Haha, suckers. I'm so glad this law exists where if you massively profit off of breaking the law nothing happens to you as long as you give back a tiny portion of the money and promise not to do it again. Last month, I was caught breaking into a department store (I won't tell you which one but it rhymes with "J.C Lenney's") because they had this maroon sweater-vest I wanted ($37.99! A "Steal"! Haha!). The police later caught me and I was like "I SWEAR I won't do it again" and they were like "OK, fine, give us $12 and we'll call it lesson learned, right?" Vikram, I'm wearing that sweater right now and it is LUSCIOUS. Anyway, this isn't about me, this is about YOU. Are you so depressed right now? Because of how you found out that all of your customers hate you for no good reason other than that stuff about you repeatedly making millions of dollars for yourself by stealing from poor people and then getting away with it? I imagine you must be pretty miserable. Just so you know that someone out there still loves you, I wanted to invite you over to my place for Thanksgiving. It's a fifth-floor walkup (that's where there isn't any elevator. positively DICKENSIAN) but it's cozy, and I think we'd have a great... oh, wait a second, you live at The Beresford? Just kidding, I'll come over to your place. I'm going to bring a couple of my friends, if that's OK. I'm just going to invite the US soldiers on whose homes you illegally foreclosed. Oh, and the thousands of people whose foreclosure forms were robo-signed without due diligence. And, actually, as long as I'm at it, everybody in the US who (unlike Citigroup) actually pays Federal taxes since we were all swindled in this boondoggle. We'll come in shifts if you think we won't all fit at once. No need to go overboard, either. If you buy food in bulk you should be able to feed us all for, I don't know, let's say $1 apiece. It'll cost just a little bit more than your most recent fraud settlement. But we'll only come over this once, Vikram. We PROMISE not to make it an annual thing. Stay strong. Stay crafty. See you next Thursday! Gentle cheek caresses, Dave
Value | 25
A plumber helps your toilet flush. He makes $50k per year. A garbage collector keeps your home sanitary. He makes $43k per year. A construction worker builds you a place to live. He makes $33k per year. A teacher educates your children. She makes $39k per year. These people add real value to your life in the real economy and they make a pittance for their troubles. You add no value. Instead you suck value out of the real economy. You make crazy bets with other people's money and you make hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per year. You stand next to the flow of money and pretend to be its caretaker while siphoning money out of it. You have no value. You are a parasite upon the backs of the Americans who produce real wealth. Wealth like food and shelter and transportation. They build that wealth. You take it away. If you think you really deserve a hundred times what a plumber or teacher makes makes, you are a psychopath. You are sick. Your values have become so distorted that you even crashed your own system. Not to worry, though. You convinced the politicians whose campaigns you fund to make us pay for it. You are a first-class citizen. You enjoy priviledge and power. We are second-class citizens. We scrape by. But you are not better than us. And our patience with your arrogance has expired. The mobs in the streets are a warning. Choose your next steps wisely. Scott Copeland 95033
Thank you | 23
Thank you for not crashing our country’s economic system earlier. At 62 yrs. old I have put my 4 children through college from the money I earned as a small entrepreneur retailer in Virginia. We are the lucky ones. My business of 28 years (selling only products made in Virginia) is about to fail for lack of the ability to obtain a line of credit to get through our 29th. winter. The Fed will apparently bail you out and continue to loan you our money at 0.5% interest, but has no interest in the long term health of small business. Was my mistake not to have tried to become too big to fail? Was it because for many years I provided good health insurance coverage for my employees? Was it because, not having attended an elite MBA school I still maintained my honesty and dignity? We are the lucky ones. My children are all educated and honest. We don’t have to live in one of your horrific gated communities where the maitre d’ knows our kids’ names from the computer screen that holds our reservation. We can downsize and still be happy. And our business, while it will soon be a memory, was always run with integrity. We are the 99% and, quite honestly, glad of it.
Of course I know that you are used to finer lunches than I am...school teachers have to bring a sandwich made with whatever was on sale. I'd love to share! Seriously, I have been thinking a lot about your compensation. I understand that being able to manipulate and understand money is a special skill set. So, my question is, why haven't you used those skills for something you wouldn't have to be ashamed of? Instead of dreaming up things like "derivatives" you could have been putting together the financing for - clinics! green technologies! environmental restoration! medical research! Instead, you have used your abilities to hurt and to harm other Americans. On second thought, I would not want to share my sandwich with you. I really, really would not want to know you. Sharon Miller
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: NationBuilder Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM Subject: [jobparty] Cara Fry left feedback on penpal To: Harry Waisbren Harry -- Cara Fry left feedback on penpal Dear One Percenter, I am an educated, married mother of a 7-year-old boy. I have been employed since I was 15. I work full time as an office manager and I also run an on-line business from home selling handmade items. My husband of 12 years is a printing pressman. He has also been employed, without any gaps, since he was 15. We work hard. We show up to work every day. We pay our bills on time. We do not have cable TV or magazine subscriptions. We do not have an iPad or an iPod or a video game system. We do not go on fancy vacations; we go camping. All of our clothes come from E-bay or resale shops. We eat at restaurants twice a month, on pay-day. We drive used cars. We try to do everything right. One of the things we tried to do right was pay off some debt. When we found ourselves with $10,000, we wanted to be responsible and pay off debt from when we were first married and starting our family and our household so we paid that $10,000 to our credit card. We thought it would give us a higher credit score due to a greater credit-to-debt ratio and that we would have a large credit cushion in case of an emergency. Boy were we wrong! Instead, we were "rewarded" by the bank cutting our credit limit to $5 above our new balance. Then they charged us a finance charge which put us over our credit limit for which they then charged us additional fees. I called to see if they would give us back some of our credit line but they said they could not because of our poor credit-to-debt ratio (which they had just created). Then the rate on my other credit card went from 7.99% to 29.99% because of the action taken by the first bank. Because I did the responsible thing and paid a large portion of my debt, my credit rating plummeted. I no longer qualify for any other credit cards or loans and I have no emergency cushion. Now, prices on everything have risen. Our grocery bill has gone up 20% despite buying more generics and skipping luxury items. Our car insurance has gone up. Our health insurance costs have tripled. Our energy costs have risen. We are living paycheck-to-paycheck and not making it and when the car breaks down, my son misses school because I do not have a credit card to put the repair on. When we are sick, we hope for the best because we cannot pay the $300 ER co-pay. I would like to go back to college to finish my bachelor's degree and try to obtain an even higher-paying job but I make "too much money" to qualify for a grant and I cannot afford to pay tuition or loan payments. I have tried so hard, my whole life, to play by the rules. I have tried to do everything right. I have tried to be ethical and responsible. The outcome of this is a life of financial hardship and stress. BANKS, on the other hand, have NOT played by the rules and when the rules constrict banks, they spend millions to lobby for the rules to be changed. Banks have not been ethical nor have they been responsible. They have taken and taken and they have not given back. Banks have consistently and intentionally avoided doing the right thing. The outcome of this has been record profits and grandiose corporate bonuses. I am disgusted with you and I wonder how you sleep at night. I imagine the cushy bank account probably serves as a very comfortable pillow. Sincerely, Cara L. Fry Email: [email protected] http://jobparty.nationbuilder.com/admin/signups/5362 -- Harry Waisbren Job Party Organizer www.JobParty.Us Social Media Analyst
My apologies | 21
Dear Mr. Moynihan, I am so sorry to hear how "incensed" you are that no one recognizes how much good you and Bank of America do for the rest of America. You must be suffering greatly. I can't imagine how hard this must be on your family. Please don't get upset that people don't understand. We are just mere servants in your plutocracy, here to be sodomized at your beckon call. I am so sorry to have upset you. Please accept as my humblest apology the shit that emerges from my ass as you continue to rape the American public. Sincerely yours, George
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will find peace. The banking system is a towering Oligarchy that controls many things from behind the scenes. It is only a matter of time until people see that they are being scammed and that money is actually valueless paper. Money is an Idea shared by most humans on the planet. But it is just an idea. You cannot eat money, you cannot create with money. It is an Idea that our entire capitalist society is based on. Capitalism is wrecking the planet and enslaving people with debt. Banking institutions will fall and a new society will rise from the ashes.
I heard the news! | 20
Dear Mr. Lynch, I heard the other day that Bank of America, among other banks, isn’t doing so well. Seems all those uncollateralized CDOs and European derivatives are catching up to you. Curious, though, the day before that, the banks were saying their business was better than ever. How can that be? Well, I think I know. You’re keeping more than one set of books, just like you did in 2008, aren’t you? I bet you have one to show to your shareholders, another to show to investors to convince them to invest, another to show the Fed so you can get more bailout money, and perhaps one to show to the SEC to convince them you don’t need their regulations. Or perhaps you just have one for your company’s main arm and others for all the spin-off subsidiaries that are holding your debt. Am I close to the truth? The fact is, Mr. Lynch, Bank of American isn’t fooling anyone. The advantage to having a large number of unemployed college graduates in society is that we have lots of time to read and follow the national news. And you probably thought we were just watching Jersey Shore. Ha! Now we know you’re trying to move your European derivatives to your FDIC insured deposit base so taxpayers will have to pay for those derivatives if and when Greece defaults. I have to say, your business plan is nothing short of astonishing. It must go something like this: 1. Lie to investors and regulators. 2. Be as unhelpful to customers as possible to keep them on the hook. 3. Charge outrageous fees and interest rates for everything. 4. If customers complain, blame them for not reading the fine print. 5. Buy up corrupt, over-leveraged institutions to expand our influence. 6. Protect the company from risk by pushing obligations onto others. 7. Fight regulations that seek to limit our activities. I wonder which Ivy-League business school teaches this plan. I have to say, it’s pretty revolutionary…as evidenced by the crowd of protesters outside your door, no doubt. Just a friendly reminder from your pen pal that we’re watching your company’s activities with great interest. Sincerely, April K.
Hi! In 2008 I lost my job, but I kept making my Visa Chase credit card payments. I was sooo looking forward to Feb. 2009 when that card would be paid off, and I could tick down one less monthly bill to pay. I had been paying this down at a monthly rate, by then, for three years. In the meantime, my mother, who is on a fixed income, couldn't always afford to put gas in her car. I took out a BP Chase gas card (this was before the Gulf disaster) and sent it to her to use, and I paid. I even let this go on while I was on unemployment--because she really only gets about $650 a month to live on, so I knew I would eventually get work, and she had to get to doctors' appointments somehow. Well, Feb. 2009 came and I did it! I sent in my last Visa Chase payment. Three weeks later, I got hired for a job overseas... and away I went! So, every month I called from where I was and paid my BP Chase gas card. Then, sometime in August, I get word from Home Depot, which I had just finished paying off, that, like, poof! They were terminating my card. I was flabbergasted. All during unemployment I paid all my bills. Why, suddenly, out of nowhere, would a credit card company cut off my card? So, I get a copy of my credit report. Again I was flabbergasted. I owed my Chase Visa $220. How the hades did I owe them any money when I had paid them off? Seems that my final bill was not actually my final bill. See, though I paid off what was listed, interest had accrued--so at the end of Feb. 2009 I still owed Chase Visa $6. Every month after that I had been charged a late fee. Chase Visa reported my six months of being late to the credit bureaus, and, my credit rating fell 200 points. I called up Chase Visa immediately and asked what could be done--I said, look, I had paid this off. They would not budge. I said, look, every month I even spoke with a Chase representative to pay my BP Chase gas card--why in the world when I paid that like clockwork would I not also pay this? I did learn that yes, indeed, the Chase representative could see both my accounts, the Visa and the BP, but no one ever told me the other account was in arrears. No one asked me about paying that account when I called. Instead, they let me rack up $214 in fees. So, this being just after the bank bailout, I asked for some leniency--okay, I will pay this, but can you please at least send a letter to the credit bureaus taking this off my account? Chase refused. I had no recourse because they hold the big guns and this amount of money was only a lunch meeting for some executive, but for me, it meant that now, when returning to the US, it was going to be difficult to nearly impossible to get credit clearance to rent an apartment, much less getting approval for buying a house. It has taken me nearly two years to regain part of my credit rating back. Thanks, bankers. Thanks for taking my tax money to bail out yourselves when you had terribly poor judgment, and then turning around and screwing me with fees and then royally screwing my credit over for $220 freaking dollars. Thanks for limiting my living opportunities and my access to credit that I could pay. Glad you are as generous with your indentured “customers” as the American public has been with you.
Dear Timothy, I am one of the few remaining Americans with good credit - mostly because I didn’t buy a house in the last 10 years. I make an average professional wage and have been a client of Wells Fargo for six years. Last spring I decided that didn’t want to bank with criminal banks any longer so I moved my money, my direct deposits and my credit card balance to a smaller, local bank. I still keep my Wells Fargo account open with a paltry sum, but now I am planning to terminate all my associations with your bank, forever. Wells Fargo has taken the houses of two of my friends, using questionable mortgage foreclosure procedures. Wells Fargo is one of the banks responsible for destroying our economy and Wells Fargo also took tax payers bailout money, but Wells Fargo has yet to take any responsibility for their immoral, predatory banking practices which have caused enormous destruction to this country. I for one will remove every last cent from my account with you no later than November 5th, and I will never do business with you again. Since banks like you have purchased our politicians and control our government, I no longer find it useful to vote in elections, rather I vote with my money, by carefully electing who NOT to give it to. Congratulations! You have been added to the list of business I will carefully avoid ever giving my money to again. Sincerely, Andrea Juillerat-Olvera
Glad to meet you | 18
Dear Ms Desoer: You do not know me, but I wanted to share my story with you. When I was 40 years old, I took a risk, and went back to school. I wanted to become a teacher…a dream I had had since the second grade. Getting my credential and Masters cost me over $30,000.00 in student loan debt, which I had to start paying immediately upon graduation. I have been doing so faithfully for 15 years and my loan debt is just about the same as when I started. I moved to Washington State a few years ago where salaries are lower. Then I joined a small rural school where I thought I could be of value…and my wage has stagnated or gone lower…but that was ok because I was making a difference in my community. Now, because the economy is so bad and enrollment unpredictable, my small private school had to cut back its faculty, and I lost my job at the end of July…not a great time for teachers to find work. I did my best though, applying in 5 local districts or school cooperatives and private schools and universities. I have 15 years of experience, great training and excellent references, but I have not been invited to one single interview. Local public schools have had to cut as well, so any available jobs automatically went to those recently released. Here I am, at 55, on unemployment for the first time in my life, still paying my student loans for a job that I thought would offer me some measure of security, because, hey, we always need teachers, right? I do not know you but I hope you may be part of the solution. That is why I am writing to you. Woman to woman. I am thrilled that you have a high paying job that just a short time ago was only available to men. I do not begrudge you or anybody their success. But when profits come at the expense of other peoples success and perhaps at the expense of the good education of our children, then we all have a problem. Ms. DeSoer, please consider doing what you can to help your company to be part of the solution The name is Bank of AMERICA not Bank of Self Interest. Please help out Americans and PLEASE stop placing unnecessary fees on your customers. With Kind regards, Melody Rae
Hi Lloyd! I am just writing to let you know I hope your gas or electric is on! I know that with the cold weather coming it will be necessary to have your basic utilities on to keep the house warm, especially in New York. I had to take a 2nd job to get my gas turned back on as the first full-time job wasn’t bringing in enough to pay all the bills - and with two little kids, I can’t live without heat once the temps start getting into the high 30s. I remembered that it has been a few months since you got a multi-million dollar bonus, and it had me worried! Hope you are snuggly warm at your manor and that your meager salary plus bonuses have kept the utilities on! Thinking of you!
We are not radicals | 17
Regulated capitalism is not socialism. Regulated capitalism is not radical. You have proven that it is necessary. You are being demonized for a reason. Your role in supporting the dismantling of financial regulations has caused enormous hardship and suffering in this country. It is very possible to make a good living without taking advantage of people.
Dear soulless pig, I understand most parasites are not equipped with a conscience, so I'm not writing to appeal to yours. I just thought I'd register my case among the millions so your crimes can be fairly counted when you and your ilk are someday brought to justice. My mother was a teacher. She was a homeowner and a single mother of two. That was before the crash. Even then, she struggled to make ends meet, and was delighted when someone at her friendly, local Wells Fargo office offered to refinance her mortgage. When the money she'd borrowed against the suffocatingly small townhome she raised me in failed to cover her rising mortgage payments, medical bills, and the costs of raising her family, you foreclosed on her. She was able to sell before the foreclosure was finalized, and moved into a small apartment. She filed for bankruptcy and though she felt ashamed, she hoped the terms of the bankruptcy and managed repayment of the debt she still owed on her mortgage would spare her at least the barrage of threatening phone calls she received from your company. Amazingly, your calls continued unabated for months. One evening around 9 PM, my mother's new neighbor, a woman in her 80s who relied on an oxygen tank, struggled to my mother's door, wheeling her tank behind her. Someone named Kelly from Wells Fargo had been calling the neighbor and insisted she let my mother know they wanted to speak to her. When my mom told me this story, I wasn't sure I believed it. Surely that sort of harassment had to be illegal. But we've since learned this was indeed a common practice of the thugs in your employ. In the years since the crash, the austerity and union-busting politicians in you pocket have undertaken to make sure people like my mother are the ones to pay for your crisis have hit my mother hard. She was laid off from her last teaching job along with hundreds of colleagues, but as she was a year from retirement and holds a master degree, she was considered too expensive to rehire by any district. In a matter of months, she was evicted from her apartment and spent the next fifteen months homeless. The daily struggle to secure medications and food, which had become familiar through years of living with bankruptcy payments and the ever-sky-rocketing costs of treating her chronic health conditions, intensified a thousandfold. In every public aid office she's visited in the last year and half, she's been met with skepticism. The burden is always to prove she is worthy of food stamps, or rental assistance, or job training, or any other scrap of support. This burden amplifies her feelings of shame and embarrassment. And it's completely backward. My mother has nothing to apologize for. She's been the victim of organized crime—your crime. Since mid-September, millions of people like mother have had a chance to see in the encampments from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Oakland that they are not alone. That they are not to blame. That, as Steinbeck wrote in Grapes of Wrath, they are the result, not the cause. The result, not the cause. The result of your unbridled greed and power, not the cause of the crisis they endure.
Herman Cain said (and I am paraphrasing) that it is a person's own fault that they are not rich. While his statement is accurate, he is also missing the point of these "Occupy" protests. Maybe many people don't feel the need to be financially rich, and the majority are not looking for handouts (or, in another word: bailouts); maybe just putting gas in our cars to get to our jobs without fear of bankrupting our family is enough for some. But the politicians and their wealthy friends don't seem to get that. Not everyone can be a business owner or CEO, and that's fine. Many people don't hold a steady job to become wealthy, but this class-warfare has to end. I want to provide for my family, and while the working class suffers more and more every week, the rich are not affected. Forget political affiliations; let common sense and DECENCY rule! If this offends you, then you are part of the problem! Anthony Lugo 12586
Hello Abby, I am the 99%. My husband and I did everything "right". Got college degrees, worked hard, borrowed less than our house was worth, made 12 years of steady mortgage payments, etc. We held up our end of the social contract. Then I got cancer, which shot a $25,000 hole in our boat. Then through no fault of our own, my husband lost his job, and his entire field went under in the great recession. He's a construction consultant. Our mortgage holder, like many big investment banks, would not work with us at all. Would not lower our payments. Would not adjust the principal. Would not accept a short sale. And we lost our home. It eventually sold to a landlord for a great deal less. We played by the rules and we got nothing, except a ruined credit score and a new poverty level of income. Oh, I guess we also get names attached to us like "lazy" and "greedy". The 1% played fast and loose with collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. The 1% got a bail out with tax payer money. The 1% nearly tripled it's wealth while we were packing our belongings. And now the 1% wants to control my government and all the natural resources. We say no. We say enough. We are the 99%.
I Am On Your Side! | 16
Brian Moynihan! Check this out: I just realized something that you probably figured out a long time ago. Did you know your name fits perfectly to the chorus of the Joan Jett song "I Love Rock & Roll"? It does! I've been singing it all morning! BRI-AN MOYNIHAN! PUT ANOTHER CHARGE ON THE PEONS, BABY! BRI-AN MOYNIHAN! CHARGE 'EM FIVE EXTRA BUCKS PER MONTH IN THANKS FOR GIVING MY BANK AN INTEREST-FREE LOAN WHAT A BUNCH SUCKERS! I need to do a little work on the meter of that second line. Anyway, HI! I thought I'd send you a little note in solidarity. I saw that article in Bloomberg News (here, in case you missed it: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-26/-incensed-moynihan-fights-bofa-critics-with-main-street-appeal.html) where you told your employees that you're "incensed" that people are angry at your bank. Seriously, right? The nerve! How DARE they criticize you! I mean, all you've done is run a company that messed up so badly that you had to borrow 25 billion dollars from the taxpayers in the fall of 2008 and then 20 billion more dollars in 2009 and then 5.2 billion MORE dollars channeled through AIG and then thanked those self-same taxpayers by firing 30,000 people in order to "cut expenses" in the same year that you personally took home a $950,000 salary as well as a 9.05 million dollar stock bonus! What ARE they complaining about? Look, this is totally fair. Your compensation is only 225 times the median household income! What did they want you to do? Save 224 of those jobs by spreading your compensation out and then trying to live on $44,657 a year? How is that even POSSIBLE? NOBODY could do that (I mean, besides your bank tellers who get paid about half of that)! You'd have to do your own laundry, and take the subway to work, probably have to get a Grande instead of a Venti most of the time. Maybe even a TALL? Absurd. I totally get it. You're running a great business. A great AMERICAN business. The Bank of AMERICA. And nothing says "America" to me than "borrowing people's money, charging them for it, then charging them more for it, then charging them more for it, and then getting angry when they get angry because they've just noticed how ridiculous this is, and then falling back on an excuse that you do some charity work as if that somehow excuses your company's open contempt of the very people who saved you from almost destroying the economy of the entire planet!" USA! USA! I'm on your side, B.M. Keep up the good work. The good AMERICAN work. Butterfly kisses, Dave P.S. It's true, I am on your side, but please rest assured that I'm not using your bank. What am I, stupid like the rest of your customers? They're paying you for the privilege of lending you their money so you can fire them! Haha!
Dear Mr. Moynihan, Just wanted to thank you personally for the widespread use of the ol' bait-and-switch tactic used extensively by your mortgage division. In short, I applied for a $25,000 home equity loan to remodel my house. I had 60% equity in the home (valued at $265,000). I also had good credit and job history. Assured by your representative that the loan was approved, I began demolition of my kitchen. The day we were to close the loan, your rep called me and told me "my underwriter made a mistake and you don't qualify for this loan. However, we can give you the loan with a much higher interest rate." At this point I told him where he could stick his loan. Thanks to your company, I had to cash-in savings bonds meant for my daughter's college education just to have a functional kitchen again. After some research, I found this was common practice. Not that it did any good, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Thanks again for your greed, and enjoy your bonuses. Sincerely, Jordan Lindquist
You criminals wiped out my retirement I'd spent years building. May you burn in hell for all eternity!!! Steve Sturgill 40299
bad mortgages | 15
In 2005, my niece and her husband bought a house in Minneapolis from a realtor "friend." Against my advice, he convinced them to get an ARM mortgage, paying interest only. When they were concerned about an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, he convinced them that they would have no problem; they could always refinance! After one year, their mortgage payments doubled; they could not refinance. My niece's husband, a Brinks guard, shot himself in the head. They had five children. Their house was foreclosed. Denise 06615
Hello Joe! whatta ya know? Do you know that meta-analysis has found that inequity causes an increase in crime, mental disorders, physical illness, and misery? Of course most of these problems are in the lower classes, but these fabulous prizes also get won by the rich as well, and the longer and more inequitable a society is the more of those prizes go to the rich?? Did you know, Joe, that the more inequity a society has the less creative it is and the less wonderful new gadgets and inventions are created? Will stealing a trillion dollars form the American people, keep your veins from clogging, or your heart form stopping due to the stress of living in this society that you made so stressful? Are you happy with the idea of never being able to leave your home because of the starving masses desperate to survive, because of the situation you helped create? You are an interesting guy!! I wonder why anyone would choose to create such a future. Are you a masochist??? Here’s some reading to help you understand the consequences of your actions. Did you go to kindergarten; just wondering. http://www.alternativeinsight.com/Health_Problem.html Inequality in Industrialized Nations Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, from the Equality Trust, produced an informative lecture video titled Inequality: The enemy between us? based on their recently released book, The Spirit Level; Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better (Penguin, March 2009) Sincerely, your friend hoping you find a better outlet for your problems than trying to take human society back to the dark ages, Lara
Open Letter to Judith Rodin Dear Ms. Rodin, Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to consider the story I have to tell. I am a 58-year-old single grandmother who teaches special education students in a California public school. I am proud of my career, my students, and my school. Our school is well-known in our community as a school of character. As President of the Rockefeller Foundation, former president of University of Pennsylvania, and a current Citigroup board member I believe that you, too, must value character. In 2000 I was a married wife and mother of two fine sons. Our older son had recently graduated from a small private college and was fast making a name for himself in software research and development. My husband was a clergyman with a fair income, and I was happy to be paid the going rate as a public school teacher. Our second son had just been accepted to New York University. He, like his brother, was brilliant and talented, and had his heart set on NYU. We filled out the paperwork for financial aid, including applying for parent loans. Citi awarded us over $100,000 of parent loans during his college years. But times change. My husband left. My older son battled medical problems that required him to return home. Costs of living increased without compensatory raises. Our home, which is every family's hedge against the future, had to be sold as debts grew. Sold in an upside-down housing market. But at least I could sell the house. I now find myself owing nearly $100,000. Can I possibly work long enough to pay it off? I believe that the same banking policies that awarded home loans to people who were ultimately doomed to default also awarded parent and college loans far in excess of the borrowers' ability to repay. When the Wall Street/banking crisis hit, the very corporations that had brought about the failure were 'bailed out" by the citizens of this country. But when a single person unwisely burdened with too great a debt falls into crisis, there is no where to go. The safety net for individual citizens - bankruptcy - is unavailable to me. Not only do I "make too much," but education loans are not eradicated by bankruptcy or debt consolidation. I am accustomed to making good decisions and paying my debts - to "making my own way." I believe Citigroup policies are in large measure responsible for the unbearable situation in which I now survive. I am not working to make a home or a future for myself. I am working to service my debt. As a woman of character, I beg you to consider your company's complicity in the unbearable situation in which I and millions of other American parents find ourselves. It is never too late for people of character to make a change. With warmest regards, S. McGee
Wondering... | 14
Just curious.... when you take home your multi million dollar bonuses, do you ever think about the homeless family you stepped on to get there?
Hi, I am an energetic, professional, semi-organized, mom with 4 kids. Due to an illegal foreclosure, we are desperately seeking shelter as winter is quickly approaching. We had adopted several homeless animals that will need to relocate with us. I have been able to re-home the chickens, however the cats, dog and fish are still with us at this time and are keeping us warm at night (Not the fish) until such time that we can have a 'normal' roof over our heads again. The illegal foreclosure has wrecked havoc on the kids, but I have them in therapy now and expect that they should eventually grow up to be contributing members of society since they were previously honor students prior to the illegal foreclosure. We don't need much, 4 walls, a roof, in/near their old neighborhood would be great. Have cash, have always been willing to pay, and did pay until the servicer told me not to. Anxiously waiting for a reply!!!
Homeless & Hopeless
Occupation issues | 13
Although I personally have not been hurt (as yet) by the economic downturn, I see what it has done to others, and I am heartsick. How can you sleep at night knowing that your policies and procedures have locked so many people out of the American Dream? I don't expect much from you because you have lost your compassion in the service of the almighty dollar. I only hope that you find one ounce of empathy in your heart to realize that you are the problem - not unions, not public employees, but you! And once you find that empathy and see what it is like to walk in another person's shoes, I hope that you take responsibility for the damage you have done to this country, and advocate for more jobs at home, better benefits for workers, and greater income equality. Alice Fichandler 92107
Old and Forgotten | 13
I do not fit the profile of the OWS demonstrators but I can understand the frustration. I’m 64 years old and have been on Social Security Disability since 2002. The fall of Lehman Brothers destroyed my primary retirement monies and I am now living on SSDI, long-term disability, and a small annuity. I’m doing better than some as I sometimes have $50 at the end of the month. Did I mention my prescription bill for 2010 was over $40,000? I couldn’t demonstrate even if I could get somewhere. Did I mention that due to glaucoma I’m blind in one eye and less than 50% vision in the other? Even if I could walk, did I mention the closest bus stop is over a mile away? I live in Palm Springs, Calif.; did I mention it gets 120 degrees in the summer? My life is essentially over. However, I have university degrees in history and economics, and read extensively (what else passes the time well?). Are you familiar with the events that led up to the French Revolution? The inequity between the ruling class (the 1%) and the hoi polli (the 99%) was only slightly worse than it is in the U.S. today. Marie Antoinette had to watch the head of the Princess Lamballe paraded outside her prison window. Twits like Rep. Cantor rail against “class warfare.” Unfortunately, the 1% declared war on the 99% with the rise of Reaganism and “trickle-down economics” (did I mention that “trickle-down” originated as a joke on a bar napkin in a dive close to U.S.C.? Everyone at the table thought it was the most hilarious dumb economic idea they’ed ever heard of. Unfortunately, it works for the rich and they’ve managed to convince people that if the rich get richer, they’ll spend it. Nope, doesn’t work that way; they just buy more politicians). For your own survival, please be less greedy. Just because something does not break the law doesn’t mean it is moral or ethical. In San Francisco (where BofA began as Bank of Italy in 1906 - just in case you are new), outside the former world headquarters of BofA sits a huge, polished boulder of black granite with lines engraved across it. In The City, it’s not uncommon to hear “Let’s meet at the banker’s heart at 1:30 for lunch.” Such is your reputation even if you are now in the hinterlands (I used to live in exile in North Carolina with what passed for family, and know whereof I speak). If you want to discuss, I’ll be glad to. Unfortunately, I see the problem but have no power; you have great power but seem to prefer making the quarterly bottom line estimates for Wall Street. If you belong to the Christian faith, please refer to Acts 2 through 4. According to the Bible, you may be in danger; what profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? The earth is a small planet and few of us get off it alive. Please do what you can to make it a better place to live. Regards, Jas. Ford Johnson Palm Springs, Calif.
Hello, I'm a slave to my Wells Fargo student loans. I know I have very few rights regarding my student loan, I'm stuck with it, and that's that. I have put some in forbearance and I've had them in deferral. Right now I'm in grad school so at the moment I'm not paying for them. I am always afraid to look at them, but last I remember my interest rate was around 12%. Yeah, that's not so good. I just refinanced my house and now my mortgage is actually less than what my monthly payment will be. Before I started grad school I had open heart surgery and lost my job. I had to pay for those loans with my unemployment, I had nothing left. Every cent went to you. You didn't force me to get these loans, a few unfortunate events in my life while in undergrad forced my hand but I think if I would have known what my payments were going to be, what I'd get paid after school, and the job forecast, there is no way in hell, I would have dropped out of school. Perhaps you can implement more policies to help people when they are having a hardship, and perhaps you can better educate students before they take out private loans from your institution. Oh and you recently bought my bank, so I guess congratulations on that. I'm making you rich and you are making me poor. Thanks. Love, Michelle
One dollar | 12
Hey William, Can I borrow a dollar? I need to buy some deodorant and I can't find work because I'm so stinky. thanks, Becca
Unsustainable greed | 12
Hi Vikram, I thought long and hard about telling you about how your bank and type screwed me, my family and my friends, but I realize you would not care. This would require someone with a conscience. Why do I think you lack this? Anyone you makes millions through deceitful ways that are also extremely harmful to others (to the majority at that!!) is certainly lacking in sympathy and empathy. So, instead of wasting my time over dozens of pages of explaining how your practices (and those of your ilk) have screwed the 99%, I appeal to your common sense: Your greed is unsustainable. Look at history. It is only a matter of time. If these accusations seem harsh to you, I give you a challenge: prove me wrong! If you cannot, no worries, I can wait for history to run it course. Sincerely yours, Astrid
Hi | 11
Dear Mr Heller, I thought I would drop you a note and let you know what I have planned for tomorrow. Get up at 5:00 am, shower, then feed my two year old. Out the door by 6:00 am and drop off baby at the daycare by 6:45am. Then I have to drive 20 miles in my 1992 Chevy to get to work by 7:30am. For $8.60 an hour I change diapers, bathe, lift, roll, feed, and groom elderly residents of a nursing home. At 12:15 pm I get half an hour for lunch. Back to work from 12:45 until 4:30. Then I drive back to the daycare and pick up baby by 5:00 pm and take her to my mother's house. Where I will leave her while I go to my second job as a clerk at the public library. I get off at 10pm and pick up baby and I will be home by 11pm. Then I will do the same thing again the next day. I guess I am lucky to have two low-paying jobs. Some of my friends from college are unemployed and living with their parents. I think that once I get my student loans paid off things will be better and I will be able to spend more time with my family. I hope you have a good day tomorrow. Love
Eat This | 11
Dear Mr. Moynihan: Your transfer of $74 trillion in dubious derivatives to the public trust, that is, to be insured by the U.S. taxpayer who, like me, is literally going without food to pay my property tax, because I believe in taking care of my fellow citizens, is a crime against humanity. I hope I live long enough to see it criminalized, and for you to personally be liable for such a crime. For you then to start talking about all the good that bankers do in lending money and predatory lending to those of us unable to find work to pay it off is a measure of moral depravity that is hard to understand. I'd like for you to look at the pictures of employees making fun of the people they rendered homeless at the Baum foreclosure company Halloween party published Joe Nocera in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/29/opinion/what-the-costumes-reveal.html?scp=3&sq=joe%20nocera&st=cse You're not even making fun of us. You have both your hands in all our pockets and you're telling us we should like it because it's good for us. OK, Brian, you eat oatmeal every night for a month instead of meat and vegetables and you tell me how you like it. You live in wonderland, which is a polite way of putting it. Karma will find a way of getting back to you.
Really? | 11
Dear Mr. David C. Darnell: Seriously? A 6.2 BILLION dollar profit... And you’re adding a monthly debit card fee because you say you need to make up the cash that you’re losing due to federal regulations??? REALLY????????? I closed my B of A checking and savings accounts two weeks ago and am encouraging everyone I know to do the same. Rachel Bjerke
I need your help! | 11
My daughter has been accepted into Veterinary college. Unfortunately, I lost her college fund when the Stock Market tanked in 2008. She has wanted to be a Veterinarian since she was seven years old. She can not afford to go because her college fund is gone and my husband is unemployed. Could anyone there please make a donation so that my daughter can go to Veterinary college? Please help make her dream possible. Thank you!
I was very pleased to learn today that you are a Democrat- hopefully, a progressive thinker. The more I learn about you, the more I like you. You are a woman- plus. Your degrees are not in business, but in history-plus. You are smart enough to have made it in to a club that only 8% of other women have-plus. And you plan to retire- so you don’t have to be a part of dysfunctional system-plus. So you are perfectly positioned to do something very important on behalf of the rest of us- speak up to your colleagues about what is happening. I don’t have to tell you that guys with business degrees are not the sharpest tools in the shed. I personally know a lot that found their way to Wall Street and their success is more about doing deals on golf courses and ski slopes than the result of a high IQ. The system as it exists right now is not sustainable. Everyone knows it. Did you see that Trader on the BBC about a month ago saying we are heading for a bigger disaster than before? Mutual destruction will hurt bankers more than it will hurt the 99% of the rest of us. Several recent examples in history offer a blueprint of how to extract cancers from the collective good of a society- Iceland, being a recent model. You all don’t want to be thought of a cancer, do you? I’m pretty sure you don’t but I’m not so sure that your colleagues quite understand. The social contract that has been broken has a small window of opportunity to be repaired- but it will take a collective sacrifice from Wall Street, not the 99%. It will require a certain level of patriotism that multi-national corporations seemed to have abandoned since the 80’s. Greed will have to be put aside. I was visiting my Mom on the west coast of Florida about a year ago and ran across my Grandfather’s retirement scrapbook. He worked for J.C. Penney his entire life starting in a storeroom and working his way up to district manager. That’s how you did it in the old days before MBAs offered a chance to manage people doing things that you did not understand and get paid a ton to do it. When he retired, they threw him a party and James C. Penney actually wrote him a letter thanking him for his dedication and service to the company: March 1970 Dear Lou, I cannot help but have a deep feeling of regret and loss to the J.C. Penney Company when I learn of the approaching retirement of a long-time valued associate, such as you. As you conclude your active Penney career, I wish so much to express my profound appreciation for your steadfast dedication, untiring service and fine contributions you have made to the growth and success of our great Company. I have always maintained that associates like you are Penney’s greatest asset. I am keenly aware how difficult it must be for your to relinquish the many responsibilities and activities which have been your for nearly thirty-seven years . I feel confident, however, that the ensuing years should provide new and challenging avenues of opportunities for the utilization of your special talents and capabilities. Wherever your path will lead, I trust you will continue to exemplify the Penney Idea and will always be a good ambassador of the J.C. Penney Company. May the years ahead bring you good health and much happiness. God bless you and keep you in my prayer. With warmest best wishes and kindest personal regards, I am Sincerely, J.C. Penney P.S. This ain’t no form letter. This is what it looked like when humans cared about each other and honored a social contract. Please enlighten your fellow Wall Street colleagues. There is still a teeny weeny bit of time, I think. Thanks.
I am exempt from your proposed new debit card fees. I will close my 85K BA account and switch to a credit union if you impose new fees on my friends, family and the rest of your customers who are not exempt. You cannot make your customers pay for BA’s self-inflicted problems.
Banks | 11
I am pulling out ALL my savings, cash and retirement funds from Bank of America. I am 61 yrs. old, have a good pension and lots of savings, but the glut of $$$$ and greed at the top sickens me. I support higher taxes for the rich. 99%er! Deborah Storton Deborah Storton Spring Valley, CA 91977
My fellow American | 11
Mr. Joe L Price, My name is Michael. I am a long time customer of Bank of America. i am also a Marine Corps vet. i served my country over in the middle east in the name of America. When I was discharged the U.S. military paid me to walk away from me. I used my money for hospital bills for my son who was in the hospital for 4 months straight. 30k (gi bill) is not enough to cover a 4 month hospital stay. You can assume that I am in debt. So much debt I can not get a cell phone because of my credit. Since opening an account with Bofa two thing have happened. 1. Monthly maintenance Fee's when this started i was charged a little under $5 a month. In the past 4 years it has almost doubled. 2.last month I received a letter stating to use my debit card Bofa will charge me to use my debit card. This total is $18 dollars a month from bofa I lost my job in July. i worked for a company the cleans up the city I lived, we did recycling picked up trash on the streets and built parks. The city ran out of money and I was without a job. I am in debt and broke. In fact I am so broke Bank of America is charging me money for not having any money. I received a phone call stating I have no money in my account and i have insufficient funds. On the other end of the phone is a lady who is being paid to tell me I have no money and I owe bofa for not having any money in my account, not overdraft just insufficient funds due to the monthly fees that have occurred since I lost my job. I'm not broke on purpose, I had no agenda to sabotage my relationship with my bank, I just don't have money. i have paid fee's since they started and now i'm negative in my account. I'm sure those fees i did pay for all those months could definitely cover the ones that I haven't. It's like going to a movie and buying a movie ticket then trying to get in and them telling me I only purchased the ticket, that's what i bought not the entrance. I don't even have no money now, because I am negative in my account. I have less than nothing and having nothing sounds good right about now. I feel even if something is free I still can not afford it due to my insufficient funds. This is just a glance at one of hundreds of financial problems I am facing in America. I pay taxes, I served my country, I became a member of the poverty community. While you continue to make money off of my misfortunes. What is even worse is people that have a large amount of money in their bank account do not have to pay these fees in fact you pay them with the money you take from me for them having an account. you may think that this is ok but it is not ok. The way this country is ran is the same way bofa is ran. as a patriot of the original founding fathers beliefs, you are unpatriotic and I was willing to lay my life down for people such as yourself. Tell me, what sacrifice are you willing to make for me?
90% of my Citigroup stock was simply made to disappear through a reverse split. Despite top executives having ruined this company, they were rewarded handsomely to the tune of tens and tens of millions of dollars. Yet this down at the heels company can still turn around and give its CEO this year $23 million. This is $440,000 a week. So if they have so much money to throw around, why have they stripped their investors. For us, this investment was a nest egg; now it is practically worthless. Citi has still managed to send nearly half a million dollars to certain members of Congress. What about all those people they fired in the name of economizing. Perhaps their CEO could make do with $40,000 a week - such tough decisions he and his cohorts have had to make while enriching themselves at the expense of their employees and their investors. Legal theft! Sylvia Hack 11415
Hey Joe! Well, I'm sad to say that I just finished paying off my Bank of America Credit Card debt. It took me 5 years, and in the end you somehow got paid A LOT more than I originally owed. You are welcome for that, my friend. So, now there is no more money of mine for you to spend wherever the heck you feel like spending it. I know this makes you sad, but I want you to know that I'm here for you. And chin up, Joe! Just think of all the other people out there that oww you money. There must be thousands, maybe millions. And most of them, because of this mess we are in, will miss a payment or two, and you can treat them just like me. It will be like we never parted ways. You are so rich and powerful, Joe....go out there and bankrupt the 99%!!! Don't worry what you conscience says, it's ok that they are poor and you have gobs of money laying around to bathe in. -Jeff-
Ms. Smith, My parents, Randal Duane and Frances Marie Malott, have worked hard their entire lives to care for my brother and I and to build a life. They own a modest house and two modest cars and have a minor savings account that they had hoped to grow a little more now that they are in their mid-fifties.Frances lost her job over two years ago in customer service at a national carpet manufacturer because of cut backs related to the depressed housing market.Randal lost his job a year ago as a manager of an branch of a company that provided temporary workers for construction and local city and county government. They made modest salaries and never benefited from the boom times. They literally saved their pennies to pay off their home and their cars early and to help my grandmother pay for her medications.Now they spend nearly $2000 a month out of their 30-year-old Bank of America accounts to maintain their COBRA insurance. The savings they worked for over 40 years falls away moment by moment. They seek out cheaper and cheaper foods, clean their devalued home over and over as “entertainment” because they can’t afford the gas to go anywhere.My father is applying for progressively more degrading jobs in the hopes of keeping at least their current austere life. So far he’s been virtually ignored because the few available jobs (even at the lowest level) are being given to the younger and equally overqualified applicants.My parents paid for your inflated salaries, they paid for your speculation, they paid for your bail out, and now they are paying for you to sit on a trillion dollars with their short future. A future that they sweated and saved for now looks like it will be a series of cheap bulk hamburger meat dinners, punctuated by window washing and heat waves with no air conditioning.They are the 99% I protest for.
Times are tough for many in our country, with the potential side effect of infrastructure failure - crumbling roads, electricity brown outs, failing water cleaning systems - a lot of things have been pushed aside due to the rising costs of everyday expenses. I’m willing to help out. My husband and I make about $75 K a year. We are fortunate enough to have a little extra to spare. I’m willing to pay a little more in taxes by taking no deductions to help our country regain its prominence in the world, to be sure our infrastructure is up to date and modern with an eye to the needs of future generations and their energy needs. Will you join us in helping our nation out of a tight spot? If you also have a little extra income to spare, perhaps the three of us could get a section of highway paved, or maybe aid a small community to repair its water treatment facilities for its residents. It sounds a little optimistic, but maybe you and I and my husband could affect our country in a positive way. Maybe more people could join us if you spread the word that you and I and my husband want to give a little bit more because we have a little extra. Now that I think about it, maybe your company can help out, too. Maybe instead of looking for tax incentives, your company can help out the government (the one that bailed out your company) by paying all of its taxes. Sort of a one hand scratches the other - our government was there when you needed them, now our government needs your business to ante up. I don’t want legislation to force you to - I think it would be a great PR step for your company to take the initiative. What do you think? Maybe you could be named CEO of the year on Time! I think it’s a win/win proposal. You might need to hold back the bonuses this year, but maybe if you explain that it’s for the good of 1. your country and 2. your company’s future, your upper management people will understand - not necessarily like, but understand. If we all pitch in and improvements are made around the country, more people will likely get back to work, which ultimately will help your business to thrive, too. I hope we can make a difference together. Don’t you?
Mr. Blankfein, So, I've been writing these letters to bank CEOs where I gently rib them about stuff like "being abysmally terrible at their jobs" and "openly stealing from the general populace" and "having the morality of a supervillain" and stuff like that. You know. The usual. And so I was writing one to you about what a terrible businessman you are, and how you had to get your old boss to give you $64 billion because of how badly you suck at being a CEO. Haha. It was going to be funny. So I was doing research to find more things to make fun of you about. But I kept reading more and more about what a hive of scum and villainy your company actually is, and the more I read the less I felt like being funny. Because, you know, whatever. Any jackass can illegally accept naked short sales or underwrite bonds AND encourage people to short those bonds or help Greece hide the true nature of its debt in order to make some extra cash, causing long-term damage to not just Greece but the whole Euro Zone and therefore the world economy which is at risk of going under (again!) partially because of your nefarious deeds (again! I guess you CAN fool people twice!)? Hell, I could do that. But really it was in finding out that your company's creation of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index helped literally starve millions of people that I stopped feeling jokey and started actually feeling pity for you. That's the worst thing to feel for somebody, Lloyd, because it means I consider you less than me. You know what? I do! I'm asking this honestly: How do you sleep at night? I know that sounds all melodramatic, but when I've, you know, inadvertently hurt somebody's FEELINGS I have trouble getting any rest at all. I can't imagine ever getting a bit of shuteye again if I found out I helped artificially drive up the price of wheat in the greatest year of plenty the world had ever known, pushing 250,000,000 more people to the breaking point and causing food riots in 30 countries. You must either have a really comfortable bed or a metric boatload of ambien. Or no conscience whatsoever, and such broken morality that you don't realize what damage your little money games are causing the planet. No, I'm just playing, I'm sure you're a great guy. Haha. -Dave