Last week the "Occupy Wall Street" sister movement, "Occupy the Boardroom," took their movement to the board members of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.
As you may recall, AMR board member, Judith Rodin, sits on the board of Citigroup, and that has now made her a direct target by the Occupy the Boardroom movement.
Former AMR board member, Rajat Gupta, would have also been a target of the Occupy the Boardroom movement, but Mr. Gupta was forced to resign from the board of Goldman Sachs because of an insider trading scandal. Mr. Gupta has since been indicted.
Interestingly, when we look at AMR's board, it appears to be made up of several members closely tied to those institutions targeted by the Occupy the Boardroom movement. Aside from Judith Rodin and former board member Rajat Gupta, AMR has:
— Phil Purcell, Former Chairman of Morgan Stanley;
— Michael Miles, Former Director of Morgan Stanley (also, Director, Member of AMR's Corporate Governance/Compensation Committee);
— Roger Staubach, Current Director of JP Morgan Chase Military Mortgages; and
— Armando Codina, Independent Director, Chairman of Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee and Member of Management Development & Compensation Committee, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
It's important to note that JP Morgan Chase reached a $54 million settlement earlier this year for violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 by failing to promptly lower interest rates when homeowners entered active military duty. (Video)
Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase are also named in a lawsuit filed this week alleging that they bilked our nation's veterans by creating a scheme whereby attorney's fees were purposely reclassified as title examination fees so as to add more debt to the loan. "Under VA rules, lenders can charge veterans for recording fees and taxes, credit reports and other customary fees, but they are not allowed to charge attorney's fees or settlement closing fees." This has forced many VA loans into default, which in turn ends up on the backs of the taxpayer because the loans are guaranteed by the government.
As you can see, some of the very banks accused of bilking our nation's veterans also have an intimate relationship with AMR's board of directors.
Titled "The Seven Deadliest Sins of the Big Banks," the Daily Beast notes why the Occupy Wall Street movement is so angry with the big banks. Six of the seven comments mentioned reference banks with AMR board affiliation:
1. JPMorgan Chase kicks 54 military families out of their homes—despite a law against doing so.
3. Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs all pay huge fines to settle charges they duped their own clients.
4. Goldman Sachs assists in Europe's economic collapse by helping Greece mask the truth about its finances.
5. JPMorgan turns a blind eye to Bernie Madoff's deceptions.
6. Bank of America pays $137 million to settle government claims it rigged the municipal-bond market.
It’s also important to note just how much taxpaper money went to these banks during the TARP Bailout: Bank of America - $45 billion; Citigroup - $45 billion; JP Morgan Chase - $25 billion; Goldman Sachs - $10 billion; Morgan Stanley - $10 billion.
On a sub note, APFA governance has now taken a position in support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Dubbed "Occu-Fly" Wall Street, APFA governance plans to take our union's "Remember November" campaign to lower Manhattan where members will meet on November 18th at Liberty Square to protest corporate greed.
This is a major departure from the Glading administration's stance on corporate greed over the last four years. Knowing that AMR lied about the airline's financial condition in 2003, and knowing that the executives were using the horrors of 9/11 to pull at the heartstrings of employees in an effort to extract concessions from them, the Glading administration stood firmly by AMR in defense of the 2003 Restructuring Agreement.
While I'm certainly excited to see some positive action coming from this union after eight long years, I don't believe you can have it both ways; you can't defend corporate greed for eight years and then raise your fists in outrage come reelection time. One only needs to look at the $32k bill the company/union jointly sent to flight attendants challenging the validity of the 2003 Restructuring Agreement to realize that this outrage is for our entertainment only.