Nov. 10, 2011 | The Fox News crowd was gifted an ironic piece of news yesterday, or, they like to think they did. Occupy Oakland's fervent opposition to the big banks that hastened the greatest contraction in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression became fodder for the "one percent" when news filtered the group would place a $20,000 transfer from an account held by Occupy Wall Street to a trust fund at Wells Fargo.
When it comes to the image of banksters, Wells Fargo is pretty much one of the ugliest faces of financial indecency around.
The group scrambled to give an accurate account of the transfer saying Thursday the donation to be used for legal defense would only sit in the Wells Fargo account for a few weeks. Occupy Oakland is already in the process of becoming an unincorporated entity, they said, and the money would be transferred once the conversion is complete. The $20,000 will sit temporarily, the group said today, in the trust account of attorney Timothy Fong.
In truth, the Occupy Oakland protester have shown particular weariness in how to handle the finances of their movement. The group-think nature of the movement lends itself to distributing decision-making power among many. It works in furthering the movement's planning, but, in the financial realm, this goal is a bit more elusive.
Other encampments across the country have had controversies within their ranks over who controls the group's purse strings. Having the treasurer lounging in a lavish big top tent at Frank Ogawa Plaza while watching a 50-inch plasma TV and sipping organic mojitos on his Barcalounger is something organizers want to avoid.
Conservatives latched onto the news with glee and charged the rag-tag group of protesters with hypocrisy, but the incident only highlights one of their chief concerns: the financial system has everybody by the balls.
National Bank Transfer Day last weekend was a rousing success, but the truth is: local banks and credit unions do not have the financial fire power and assets to invest in the broad range of banking instruments the larger banks offer. You simply cannot function in this economy without doing business in some form with the large banks.
It's a monopoly that stifles competition and innovation at the expense of consumers. This is what the Occupy movement has been saying all along and the perceived capitulation of this fact clearly illustrates Wells Fargo's omnipotence.
Thursday, November 10, 2011