"I Am Not Your ATM"
Working people have plenty to be angry with Wall Street about. A $700 billion bailout. Toxic assets and loan guarantees to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. A financial crisis and credit crunch. Billions of dollars in six- and seven-figure bonuses to the Wall Street executives who got us into this mess.
Unemployment reaching 10 percent. A mortgage crisis extending far beyond subprime loans. Abusive credit and debit card fees. More than five job-seekers for every one job.
Wall Street has treated Main Street as a giant ATM—gambling with the economy, then coming back with their hands out for help. But somehow, no matter how much help the banks need to survive, they always have the resources to fight proposals to regulate them or get them to pay their fair share.
That’s why the AFL-CIO community affiliate, Working America, has launched the ”I am not your ATM” campaign. Already, people in Albuquerque, N.M.; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Minneapolis have been photographed with “I am not your ATM” signs at major banks to let Wall Street know they’ve had enough. Wall Street’s biggest banks need to be held accountable, with a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Rather than asking taxpayers for more money, Big Banks need to start repaying us for the damage they’ve done.
In the coming week, we at Working America will hold more events in cities across the country, but you can participate online. Submit a photo to NotYourATM.com and send Wall Street the message that you’re done being Big Banks’ ATM. It’s time for them to clean up the mess they made, instead of expecting working people.
Reprinted from AFL-CIO Now news blog.