More than two dozen trade union activists associated with theDelawareValleyand Vicinity Port Maritime Council joined hundreds of others to hit the bricks in downtownPhiladelphiato hear AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka call out Bank of America.
Appearing at a rally near the banking giant’s offices in the City of Brotherly Love, Trumka urged Bank of America and other recipients of U.S. bailout monies—Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo/Wachovia—to:
- STOP refusing to pay their fair share to restore the jobs that they destroyed;
- STOP fighting financial reform; but
- START lending to communities, small businesses and others starved for credit.
According to Trumka, Bank of America and the other big banks “played Russian roulette with our economy. And while Wall Street cashed in, they leftMain Streetholding the bag. They peddled meaningless junk-derivatives, credit default swaps, overpriced mortgages—and none of it was real. None of it created a job or gave a loan to small business.”
The AFL-CIO is calling upon the federal government to pass a meaningful financial reform bill that would incorporate these key elements:
- Fees on Wall Street banks so that they will be forced to pay back the cost of the bank bailout;
- A special levy on Wall Street bonuses;
- A tax on the income of hedge fund and private equity managers (among the wealthiest people in the country) at ordinary rates, by closing the carried interest loophole; and
- A financial speculation tax that would be internationally adopted by the world’s major financial market countries.