letters and counting!
Why do you hate so much & insist on having the whole world hate us? Do you know the meaning of compassion? Roy Sharkey 11780
I lost my house | 1
What have you lost? My husband was out of work for a year. I have a student loan that is about $60,000. Europeans don’t have debt like this why do Americans?
Hi Sarah Just wanted you to know that I’m all for this protest. I want to know what happened in 2008, who did it, and who is going to be prosecuted for it. I do not understand how we can be brought to brink of National financial ruin and nobody is held accountable. That’s incomprehensible to me. That’s why I’m with this protest.
Economy | 0
Don't increase prices for the 99% if you aren't going to increase wages. Hannah Dickinson Memphis, TN 38119-5534
I want to help you do what you want to do with your life. Let’s be serious, no one wants to work their life away for a bank. What’s the life you dream of living? Let’s make it happen. We know you have the money to make it happen so let’s start today.
Hello! | 6
Hi Diana, my name is Andrew Berg and I’d like to know more about you. I can just bet that you and I are born of different experience and may or may not have a hard time relating to each other; but that’s just what makes this exercise so important. I’m sure that as someone who is able to analyze financial markets, your are very familiar with the concept of positionality. That is is to say how somethings behavior can be determined or predicted by its relative position in a system. Sometimes it’s hard to guess just what factors lead to what, as in the case of poor immigrant bootstrappers and wealthy middle to upper middle class white men ending up in arguably the same financial position, and their counterparts, the American poor who seem to find few avenues to success. We can look at those first two, and attribute everything to hard work, and in the case of the immigrants, probably be mostly right. But there are other factors for them as well: strong family support, cheap loans through relatives, often times cultural codes of ethics that most americans would find oppressive. These things put them in a unique position to apply their hard work in a definite trajectory. The same is true of our wealthy white men. They follow the rules they have been given and work hard on a path laid out before them and the structure that is in place allows for easy success. But in both of these cases, hard work was not enough, it was their relative position in society that determined their success. It was access to money or education or simply guidance and cultural stability, a positive self-image, that did the lion-share of the work. But what of their counterparts? Isn’t it hard work to dig holes, clean toilets, take on the role of the lesser person, be chided for laziness when there is no available work? Isn’t it hard work to live under a structure that does not really allow you access to the things that will bring you success? Isn’t it hard work to come from a broken home or raise more children then you can afford or to be one of those children? If hard work is simply defined as the stress and effort it takes to do something, then it is very hard work.What does any of this have to do with you and me? Well, you and I are educated for one, but probably very differently. I can only guess that you have some professional education relating somehow to banking and I went to school for philosophy. Not to say that you may not also have gone to school for philosophy, but still, our education is different. The mental track that was laid down before us has brought us to very different destinations. In my educated view, the financial system as it is today is something that all major cultures and learned, moral individuals have warned against allowing. Most religions have some prohibition of usury because the thinkers of the time had the foresight to see how that kind of activity has the potential to destabilize a society. The problem is there is a tendency for wealth, once it starts growing in a location, to take on a gravitational force, that if left unchecked, will centralize as much as possible in that one location. Seeing wealth as not just money, but the potential for human growth and health, for stability and productivity, that situation is clearly untenable. What is money or wealth for? is it for the idle entertainment of some? (and we must admit, some are entertained by the sheer act of accumulating) or is it the transactional token for human needs and desires? Money is simply the medium through which the energy of our resources passes between people. Every effort must be made to ensure that its value is stable relative to resources and that it is distributed in a way that ensures that needs are met across the population and that its use is the health and well-being of all citizens.The recent goings on in the financial sector are the exact opposite of this. I mentioned your education. I’m sure that you are very good at what you do, like the best engineer working to make a machine more efficient, you have set your mind to increasing the efficiency and power of your machine. But what are machines for? I suppose there are different kinds, but the best engineer only works on the ones that will benefit humanity. There is no benefit to the world in the financial systems machine. It is a weapon and it knows no master but its own increasing efficiency. It has crossed the lines into policy to ensure that each of its parts moves as freely as possible, ironically blurring the lines in America between economic and political power (ironic because this is a Marxist idea.)We must all be good engineers. There is no point to a machine like this. It does not bring happiness or health or well-being to anyone but a small few and, though they don’t realize it, it doesn’t even do that. It creates a twisted and sadistic culture, it chooses efficiency over beauty, it wants everything and it will stop at nothing.We must all be good engineers. We must re-engineer this machine. We must dismantle it entirely, if necessary. We must build a new one, a better one, one that does good and is useful. We must build a machine that invests in people; that educates people, not for its own good but for their good; that looks at people as ends in themselves and never as means. This is not idealism, this is realism. We now have the resources and technology to make a machine that will last well into the future. This machine that we have now will soon destroy itself, and I fear it will destroy all of us with it.Please be a good engineer.Your freind,Andrew berg
Responsibility | 1
It’s the responsibility of the rich and powerful to take care of the ones that got you to the rich and powerful level.You know us,the ones that work hard everyday to provide for their families and that keep you in the 1%.
Dear Officer Chase, I never thought I would say I miss a bank, but can I please have Washington Mutual back?!?! I guess actually trying to treat your prisoners with fairness and basic human decency is out of the question in Cell Block USA. Sincerely, Can You Please Explain What Crimes I Have Apparently Commited
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.
Capitalism works. Robber barons don’t. Janet
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
Dear Mr. Thomas, My name is Nick Shargas and i am 21 years old and im still attending college at EWU and i am a bank of america customer and have been since age 12. I hope you read this because its people like you that are in the position to change the way things are i get its your job and your just making your money. But times are shity and what are “Americans” supposed to do when times get hard? They are supposed to unite and help each other. Im 21 so i have a long way to go before I get to the point where you are in your career but i know for a fact if i was in your postion i would not be adding fees to peoples debit cards like really did we not bail you guys out and now your going to tax us for it? I normally dont care Because really its not me whos gonna be paying it its my parents but still they are suffering money wise right now and i think its really shity that you guys think you can do that ive givin you my loyality and never asked for anything back. Now im asking stop whatever you doing and find a new way to get money there are plenty of other ways to do it and i think you know that because your a smart guy so all im asking is do the right thing for everyone PLEASE and THANK YOU for reading this.
I just want to personally thank you and all of the 1% for making it much more difficult for me to pay for the ever-increasing costs of going to college. I was worried for a while that I would not get to live the quintessential “buried by debt” experience that college students are expected to, but now I’ll have that chance. Thanks, again.
aren’t you ashamed of your cupidity ? much love from a mid-class tax payer!
Options | 5
I pay taxes every year and since Citi owns the government that I pay taxes to, Citi (you) got the government to give you millions of dollars so you could turn around and give each other bonuses. Meanwhile, I have been paying you an outrageous amount of interest on a mortgage for my only home since 2004. The interest is so outrageous that the principal barely decreases. I want options on how you are going to pay me back for the so called bail out. Come see my home and compare it to your mansion. Enough is enough. Pay me back what you stole from me by buying and manipulating your puppet government.
We want to stay in our home that is the base of operations for Sustainable Tahoe, a non-profit organization that is working to preserve the Lake Tahoe region for our children’s children. Wells Fargo is throwing us out of the home because we spend too much of our time and money trying to have a positive impact on the regions economy, environment and it’s rich cultural past.
Dear Michael. | 1
I’d like to bring to your attention the simple fact that when I buy products, the taxes I pay average 15 % while when you transfer heaps of money (threatening sometimes a foreign economy, here or there), yours remain untaxed. Why should we be treated differently? How better are you? That’s it. Just a thought I hope you can sleep on. Yours truly, Julien HardyArt director, visual artist and energy healer.2317 Logan St.Montreal, QC H2K 2B4 Canada
curious | 8
Patricia, I’m a 39 year old therapist in Philadelphia. I have $35k in student loan and credit card debt and about $400 in savings and somewhere around $15k in retirement. I’ve had no health insurance for most of the last two years. I have had almost 12 years of post high school education in my field and work fairly long hours yet I cannot make enough to get out of debt or ever dream of buying a house. Yet, compared to many other people, I am really lucky. What I am curious about is how you can sleep at night and live your life knowing that the practices of your bank, among others, have contributed to national and even world wide misery. How do you cope with the thought of people being kicked out of their homes because you sold them a mortgage you knew they would never be able to pay? Do you drink a lot? Prescription drugs? Therapy? I can’t imagine how you can possibly deal with the guilt. Are you listening to what is going on around the world? Is it making you think? There has been almost no response from your class other than some snarky dismissals and a few half hearted and insincere sounding words of encouragement. Is there any talk amongst you on the inside about feeling guilty or considering any changes to let the rest of us know that you care about humanity and are not just the animals we think you are?
My sister Lizzie | 5
Hi Cynthia, My sister Lizzie is a breast cancer survivor, but she has fallen through the cracks and can’t afford health insurance. So, no mammogram for her. She’s a single mom, unemployed since 2009. She has a masters degree in landscape architecture and she freelances as a gardener when she can get the work, but she barely scrapes by. I love my sister the same way you love your family, and I worry about her a lot. Do you have any suggestions for her? Health and wellness to you and those you love, Janet K Miller Tucson Arizona
Resource. Based. Economy. An economical system was put in place to provide all humans with their basic human needs though the RESOURCES that our earth provides, in the most effecient & economical matter. How in the hell is currency a solution to an economy when all currency relies on scarcity, waste, and inequality in order to sustain itself?If all currency were to suddenly disappear, we would still have the same exact resources on earth that we have now. Why do we let currency stop us from eating and having a roof over our heads? It does not make sense…We have the technology, resources and knowledge to feed and house everyone on earth, the only thing holding us back is this false belief that an economy has to be tied in with currency, politics, idealogies and/or religion. That could not be further from the truth…The common sense solution is to seperate our economic system from all of these personal beliefs Survival does NOT have to be something that has to be earned, (and only possible for some); survival should be our human right, especially when we have all the resources available to provide for each and every single person on earth.
I have been underemployed for 3 years, have no health insurance, mounting medical bills, have faced eviction and can’t support my kids because there is no work here that pays more than $10/hr. if you’re lucky. Let your conscience be your guide, Paula. Maybe your next check should go to a women’s shelter or help pay for a mammogram.
Nationalize | 2
I really, really hope that when Bank of America fails (soon, after me and all my friends withdraw our accounts and switch to credit unions), the government finally steps in, breaks its outrageous and utterly corrupt ties with you and your company, and nationalizes the 4 biggest banks. Then, they’l smash your company to little pieces and either raffle off the bits in IPOs (the more realistic, and politically viable solution), or create an entirely new system of worker/depositor owned cooperative businesses, in the vein of Mondragon or some other democratically run entity. If there were any real justice in this world, the police would be using their power of seizure on you personally and take away the majority of your assets, because I’m certain most of your income has been ill gotten. Does your bank really add any value to the real economy, or are your bizarre financial abstractions just a complex form of theft and looting? I would bet a lot of money on the latter. Cheers, and I hope you and your cronies get prosecuted and locked up for the rest of your lives, and your assets used to provide universal higher education or something that actually helps this country. -Blayne Sapelli
Official Invite | 1
Hi there, i’d like to forward an invitation for you to come to my house for dinner to discuss your inadvertent involvement in the NWO. As a member of the Sheeple that call planet Earth home, i’d just like to thank you for having such a stern lack of conscience and congratulate you on not owning a mind broad enough to correctly evaluate life and morals.Thanks for working against human equality.Regards,Rico Suavez
Pete | 1
I am having to work more years because of the economic collapse and the money I lost in my 401K. I blame you and your bank for that along with all the others that drove this economy for greed.