Grass Roots Organizing heads to Ohio for JPMorgan Chase protest

More than 60 from mid-Missouri travel to demonstration by bus
Monday, May 16, 2011 | 4:18 p.m. CDT; updated 11:45 a.m. CDT, Monday, September 12, 2011

COLUMBIA — A group of 60 Missouri residents is traveling by bus to Columbus, Ohio, on behalf of the Mexico-based organization Grass Roots Organizing to protest at the annual meeting of JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders.

The group, which left Monday and will protest on Tuesday, is acting in conjunction with National People’s Action, an organization that has facilitated similar protests in New York, San Francisco and Charlotte, N.C., as part of a national campaign called Showdown in America.

The aim of the protests is simple: to hold big banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America accountable for the 2008 budget crisis that NPA says was caused by irresponsible loaning and predatory lending programs such as payday loans.

MU freshman Eli Tinker-Fortel is among those headed to Ohio. Tinker-Fortel first got involved in GRO in 2007, when he attended a presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Since then, he has been active in local as well as national politics and is particularly excited about the Showdown in Ohio.

“Young people are upset at what the banks are doing,” Tinker-Fortel said. “It’s really exciting to come together with people my age, of all ages, who are mad at the banks for what they did. Banks should pay back the $100 billion from the federal government and stop kicking people out of their homes.”

Robin Acree, a founding member of GRO, said she is upset that “big banks and Wall Street are set, while everyday people suffer.” Acree said she hopes the showdown would bring attention to the actions of big banks, actions Acree called “criminal.”

She emphasized the ethical concerns about payday loans, calling it a "predatory practice" that creates a cycle of debt among people in a vulnerable demographic.

Acree said she hopes banks such as JPMorgan Chase eventually will be held accountable for the crisis.

“Banks must stop giving bonuses and be held accountable to federal law," Acree said.

The group will picket on Tuesday, protesting JPMorgan Chase’s government bailout, which GRO said amounted to $100.7 billion. They also will argue that while families are suffering because of JPMorgan Chase and other banks’ actions, CEOs of those banks are receiving extravagant bonuses. That's money National People's Action believes would be better spent investing in communities and paying back the government.

In a written statement, GRO accused JPMorgan Chase of avoiding federal taxes by “maintaining over 50 tax-sheltered overseas subsidiaries.” In addition, GRO said, by avoiding financial responsibility, big banks defer those responsibilities to taxpayers.

GRO is an affiliate of the NPA, which on its website describes itself as “a network of community power organizations from across the country that work to advance a national economic and racial justice agenda.”

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anne gabriel May 17, 2011 | 5:50 a.m.

Robin Acree could use a little less protest time, and a little more homework time. JP Morgan was forced to take TARP money. They were the only financially sound bank during the 2008 bank crisis, and they were FORCED to take the TARP money. Furthermore, they were one of the first banks to give the money back to the government. As the spouse of a JP Morgan employee, it infuriates me to read stories like this one. For 18 years, JP Morgan has been very good to my husband and to our family. Just remember, there are 2 sides to every story.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 17, 2011 | 8:36 a.m.

That our young people, or, Any of our people are used for disingenuous activities such as this is despicable. If GRO, NPA, "Showdown", or, R. Acree, really wished their protests to help solve these problems, they would schedule their meetings in front of the White House.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 17, 2011 | 10:47 a.m.

That's right Frank, the Bush White House since TARP was his baby. Oops.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 17, 2011 | 1:48 p.m.

John S. - Oops, yourself. There is no Bush White House. That was over 2 years ago and over 4 trillion dollars ago. We, I guess, must go over this again and again, Bush signed a Pelosi written, D' controlled, House and Senate passed, TARP bill, voted on twice in House because R's voted against the first time. Still the cute one liners persist. Try to grasp, there could have been no TARP without Pelosi and Reid and all them D's.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 17, 2011 | 2:36 p.m.

And Bush wasn't man enough to stand up for alleged conservative principles and veto the damn bill? He's just as much to blame as Pelosi and Reid. Republicans and Democrats at the national level are 90% alike on most major issues except for a couple social wedge issues.

(Report Comment)
John McFarland May 17, 2011 | 3:11 p.m.

For most people, a “bonus” is a few hundred dollars at Christmastime. A million dollars is what you work a lifetime to try to save, and few people reach that goal. Even Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, which have been called zombie banks, paid $5.33 billion and $3.6 billion in bonuses, respectively -- although they lost more than $27 billion each in earnings. JP Morgan’s largesse involved showering 1,626 of its favorite execs and traders with bonuses of $1 million or more.The bar for merit is apparently so low that you’re entitled to a bonus if your zombie bank simply keeps breathing!

These blatantly inflated bonuses are just the last in a litany of abuses by those same profligate banks that nearly destroyed our economic system. If the derivatives on their books were “marked to market” (valued at what they would fetch on the market), the banks would be bankrupt, and their employees would be out of a job. Instead, they have been allowed to inflate the value of their “toxic” assets – and sell them to the U.S. government at the inflated value. Then they have taken the money they got from the government at these inflated prices and paid back the TARP money they received – allowing them to post inflated earnings and reward themselves with inflated bonuses! Many people feel that these bankers are thieves stealing from the public till who should be looking at jail time. But who is there to stop their parade of outrages? No one in Congress, the White House, or the news media is calling them on the carpet for it. As Senator Dick Durbin said recently, Wall Street owns Congress; and that is also true of the major media. Poor JP Morgan chase, forced to take part in TARP!

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 17, 2011 | 3:46 p.m.

John - Your hindsight is amazing. Bush stated at the signing that every adviser available had told him that the collapse of the economy was imminent. He stated in a discussion of his book that His allocation of those funds have now been repaid. I can't find where any of these borrowed funds have been applied to our debt. Am sure they have not. Why aren't you complaining about that, instead of beating this horse that is long dead?

Your position, resting on the fence, is enviable, but of little value, in my view and "Republicans and Democrats at the national level are 90% alike on most major issues except for a couple social wedge issues.", is total crap.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 17, 2011 | 4:13 p.m.

Frank, what I'm "complaining about" is that Bush was definitely not a conservative, nor were his actions. In fact, he's like a small, smarmy version of Nancy Pelosi. And that you continue to defend him is no surprise, I guess. I guess it's a good thing he didn't engage in nation-building or costly Medicare boondoggles as well, eh?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 17, 2011 | 4:57 p.m.

John - Who told you Bush was conservative? My stated view has been that conservatives knew when he brought the "compassionate, conservatism" crap, before the election, that he would be trouble.

His spending, aside from the wars, was exactly what Edward Kennedy and the Democrats had been looking for, for years. If you recall, I used to pose the posted question for anyone to tell me, "other than No Child (education), Medicare prescriptions and the wars, what did Bush "spend" on. To date, I've had no answers.

I'm glad he is gone, but remember, he had disasters within months of beginning of his Presidency and months of the end of it. His "spending", immigration stance (from, I believe, his globalist father) are about all I can fault him for. You are with the liberals in your nation-building criticism. I think it was necessary. He had a good economy, with 4.4 unempl until the end. No expansion of unionism, reduced regulation where ever possible, promoted democracy around the world. That sound like Nancy P. to you?

(Report Comment)
Ken Geringer May 17, 2011 | 6:47 p.m.

But Frank, doesn't two wars, many, many dead, and injured around the world, lost money and chances, and the destruction of our and the world economy as they say, "On his watch," register with you?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 17, 2011 | 9:50 p.m.

Ken Geringer - Do you ever deal in specifics? To sum up an eight year Presidency in one inaccurate sentence seems rather shallow, to say the least. As I stated above, disaster occurred 7 months into his administration and again, less than a year before it ended. He had little to do with either, but, has been blamed for both. If you want to contradict me, why not explain my error?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick May 17, 2011 | 11:57 p.m.

Bush's deficit came as a result of his incorrect assessment that instead of paying off the deficit like Clinton had been doing, the US should have tax cuts and return the money to the taxpayers. That was the first round of tax cuts in 2001. The second round came in 2003. His soaring deficit was the worst in US history. The huge deficit he racked up came as a result of the tax cuts and military expenditures which came as the result of Republicans controlling the Congress. The TARP was partly his baby despite what some people incorrectly say. He had his hand in it along with a lot of other people. Meanwhile from 2001 to 2006 the US economy limped along at a 2% growth rate which was the worst rate since 1949. Even Eisenhower did better. The tax cuts failed to energize the US economy despite claims to the contrary. As a matter of fact unemployment and poverty went up. Also, Bush and Company (Republicans once again) ignored pending warning signs about an overheated and highly inflated housing market which as we all know was a large part of the collapse of the US economy in 2007-08.
Bush mishandled the housing crisis. As a result of the disparity between wages and profits, when the housing market blew up, the economy nosedived and the profits vanished while the tiny, miniscule wage increases during the Bush years vanished.
Translation: Bush and the Republicans are the ones to blame for the mess, a huge freaking deficit, and stupid tax cuts which helped cause the mess in the first place.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 18, 2011 | 5:39 a.m.

Jimmy Dick wrote:

"Translation: Bush and the Republicans are the ones to blame for the mess, a huge freaking deficit, and stupid tax cuts which helped cause the mess in the first place."

Politicians get the credit, or blame, for the state of the economy, but everyone has input and everyone needs to share the blame. Government has less to do with the economy than most people give them credit for.

Tax cuts, in a time of high energy prices and declining domestic investment, do not grow the economy or add jobs. They simply reduce government revenues and increase deficits.

Allowing lending risks to be packaged as derivatives and sold spreads the risk of poor loans to the whole economy, not just the institution making them. This gives incentive for institutions to make bad loans, at inadequate interest, and for lendees to take them. Lax fractional reserve requirements allow marginal institutions to create unbacked trillions out of thin air, which vanish when the markets correct themselves.

Tax rates are not correlated with GDP growth, therefore have little to no effect on it:

Energy prices show a much closer correlation to economic ups and downs (Fig 3.1):


(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick May 18, 2011 | 6:57 a.m.

Good points, Mark. I still lay blame on Bush and his cabinent because they could see what was happening and refused to act upon it. In 2005 and 2006 I was told by many people in the construction business the bubble was going to break sooner or later and it was going to be bad when it did, but I don't think anyone that wasn't an economical theorist understand just how bad it was going to be. No question at all about the banks being deeply involved and making some really stupid loans. Now everyone is paying the price for the lack of oversight. That's where the power of the Fed was needed and instead it wasn't there due to Bush policies.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.

Jim Dick - Your post - More trash from one on the left. You did provide one source for us "many people in the construction business". contradicts your assertion of a limping economy and a 4.4 unemployment rate is less than, say, 9.0, right?

The financial melt down was caused by Clinton, Dodd, Frank, manipulation of lending regulations, just as Democrat controlled Congress did for the "Savings and Loan Debacle". W. Bush, rather than, ignoring "pending warning signs", made at least 4 legislative attempts (as did J. Mcain) to reign in the culprits, Fanny&Freddie. (One was to put them under oversight of Treasury Dept.) Every attempt was killed by D's in the Senate.

"Translation: Bush and the Republicans are the ones to blame". I'd say you need a better translator, but you are just trying to make your socialist ideology sound reasonable. It still does not!

Mark is still asserting that a Federal Gov't which is now inserted into every facet of our lives, has nothing to do with our problems. A fantasy.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire May 18, 2011 | 9:37 a.m.

"The financial melt down was caused by Clinton, Dodd, Frank, manipulation of lending regulations"

So in other words, you are for government regulation. Right, Frank?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick May 18, 2011 | 9:44 a.m.

I love your feedback Frank. I just love how you only insult people. Anyone that disagrees with your opinion is a socialist. Well, I guess we're all Socialists except for you. Any time we point out something you're wrong on you insult us for disagreeing with you. There's no point in arguing with you since you will just insult us some more. So let me help you feel bad.
There is no viable Republican candidate running for the office of President of the United States in 2012. Obama will win the election as a result of that. What's your answer to that, O insulter of those that deal in reality?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 10:35 a.m.

JD - Gosh it seems everyone on the left loves either me or my "feedback". You can't touch my content, so to "save your face", you decide to take umbrage with my "insults". Why can't I get used to this?

The Republican nominee will be viable and will win the election. BO is so frightened, he has decided to let us have more oil. That in itself could cause the environmentalists to stay home. Find someone able to accept "reality", and I'll talk some more to whomever that may be.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick May 18, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

Dream on Frank. Your content fails the test. Your link provides data that does not take into consideration the reality that the housing bubble caused to the numbers. When the bubble burst those numbers were vaporized. It was not real growth. The Bush years were horrible for the US economy and there is simply no way anybody with any kind of intelligence can prove otherwise. Economists protested during the Bush years that his policies were ruinous and they were proven right. Why in God's name would we want to repeat stupidity again?
Get over the fact that Bush was a failure and move on.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 18, 2011 | 11:31 a.m.

For someone who doesn't think much of Bush as a conservative, Frank sure spends a lot of time defending him. The fact of the matter is that Obama is Bush's third term.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 11:46 a.m.

jd - I asked you to provide someone with a grasp on reality. Not you with your imaginary, baseless, Opinion!

It is and has been you and yours who have to return to W. Bush rather than face the facts of the disaster created by BO and D's, since we allowed Pelosi, Reid, then HE into control of our government. "Why in God's name would we want to repeat stupidity again?" The "stupidity" we are repeating is that of the J. E. Carter "4". I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for you. Just a little, but am sure can get over it, probably with your next nonsensical post.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 11:55 a.m.

John - You have apparently decided to go with only the first syllable of your so called Libertarian political stance. Watch it! the Libs will eat you alive, just as they have W.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick May 18, 2011 | 12:16 p.m.

More crap from Frank. Enjoy his opinions because they're only opinions. The truth apparently escapes him. It's okay. We all know that the far right is busy shooting themselves in the foot when they're not inserting it in their mouths. Frank has to ridicule anything he can't understand, which is most of the posts that don't hold to his extremely limited sense of political, economic, historical, and social affairs.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle May 18, 2011 | 12:38 p.m.

For the record: The mortgage bubble took off almost immediately after the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, which contained many of the ruinous changes to the formerly modest CRA, turning it into a huge money laundering/transfer mechanism. By late 2000, the bubble was in full swing, and over the next 6 years well over $10T of mortgage debt was laundered by Fannie and Freddie, and presented to Wall Street as money to be played with in the freshly deregulated (by the same bill) or completely unregulated derivatives and commodities speculation markets.

From the greatly reviled Wik: "The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999) is an act of the 106th United States Congress (1999–2001)."

Here's a graph of private household debt, so it's easy to see exactly *when* the mortgage bubble really took off:

Graph courtesy Left Business Observer:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know... correlation is not causation. Unless, of course, it was a modest democrat-sponsored bill to assist low income citizens, which of course makes certain it's causation of a bubble that didn't start until many years later (after a lot more deregulation).

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 1:07 p.m.

J Dick - "I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for you. Just a little, but am sure can get over it, probably with your next nonsensical post."

I was right, again.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick May 18, 2011 | 1:12 p.m.

You only prove my point, Frank. I just want to know which Republican presidential candidate you want to support. Is it Mitt? Newt? Ron? Could you desire Michelle or Sarah? Which one is going to be your choice? Which one of these non-viable candidates are you going to vote for?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle May 18, 2011 | 1:24 p.m.

He really wants Sarah, but can't bring himself to admit that to the general public.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 1:44 p.m.

"Unless, of course, it was a modest democrat-sponsored bill to assist low income citizens,"

"CRA regulations give community groups the right to comment on or protest about banks' non-compliance with CRA.[7] Such comments could help or hinder banks' planned expansions. Groups at first only slowly took advantage of these rights.[45] Regulatory changes during President Bill Clinton's administration allowed these community groups better access to CRA information and enabled them to increase their activities.[4][40][97]

In an article for the New York Post, economist Stan Liebowitz wrote that community activists intervention at yearly bank reviews resulted in their obtaining large amounts of money from banks, since poor reviews could lead to frustrated merger plans and even legal challenges by the Justice Department.[98] Michelle Minton noted that Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN at about the same time they were to apply for permission to merge and needed to comply with CRA regulations."

Clinton, Dodd, Frank, those wonderful Democrats, who are "only tryin' ta hep yew!"

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle May 18, 2011 | 2:55 p.m.

Timing, Frank. Passage of the GLB act = start of the mortgage bubble. You have no answer to that.

Instead, you're horrified by the fact that citizens were allowed (GASP!) to participate in their government, and actually let officials know when banks were not operating in accordance with federal law? Or worse, be allowed to PROTEST against those banks? OMG what is this Representative Republic country coming to?!?

The fact that the mortgage companies could buy off ACORN at the time only proves that they can also most certainly buy off your favorite congresscritter today, too.

But, your worries should be over soon. Your heroes and masters are trying to put you down, because you cost too much to keep alive. Ron Paul Death Vouchers, FTW!

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.

DF - "Timing, Frank. Passage of the GLB act" People, Derrick. Clinton, Dodd, Frank. 45 changes to CRA during Clinton.

Isn't it embarrassing to have to refer to mob intervention, ACORN at bank reviews, as governmental participation? And, then ignore, fraud, blackmail, deceit, as something we should accept on a daily basis? I expect it is not, because you belong to the crowd that is willing to accept it. This is why you can expect the Democrats to be going DOWN in the coming election and in those in the near and distant future.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle May 18, 2011 | 5:57 p.m.

Frank chimes: "People, Derrick. Clinton, Dodd, Frank. 45 changes to CRA during Clinton."

And yet, the mortgage bubble STILL didn't take off until IMMEDIATELY AFTER the GLB act. Curious. Very curious. It's just incomprehensible, to you at least.

Not to mention the fact that, as you so often like to point out when budget surpluses are brought up, it was a Republican-led congress making all those changes you appear to be accusing of causing all the problems.

If you could, please, reference the graph one more time: you will see that mortgage debt was totally flat during all those changes the the CRA during the Clinton administration. No bubble there (it was in the dotcom boom, instead).

It must have been very frustrating for all those changes made by the Republican-led congress to be so... ineffective. But, with the last stroke of the GLB act, BOOM! The mortgage bubble, derivatives, and commodities markets took off like a world-record setting Olympic track athlete. It sure looked like success there for a bit, eh? But, unlike the real Olympic track athlete, it turns out the GLB Act could only run half the race before tripping over it's own feet and falling flat on it's face.

And yes, absolutely, I do ignore fraud, blackmail, and deceit on a daily basis, by ignoring advice from and not watching the devious FOX.

I do, however, see plenty of fraud, deceit, and blackmail in the actions of large corporations and financial institutions (what this article is about), as well as their interaction with almost all federal politicians, both democrat and republican; I see plenty more in the whole concept of trickle-down economics; and I see plenty more yet in the baldface lie that we can supposedly drill our way back to cheap oil and energy independence (but that's off-topic).

I could go on, but this is plenty of an opening for you to sidestep my points and instead regurgitate what irrelevant and meaningless political propaganda your masters have given you permission to speak about.

Someday, they might even allow to to endorse a specific Presidential candidate! Won't that be exciting?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle May 18, 2011 | 6:02 p.m.

Dang, 2 typos in one post. That's bad, for me.
I'll let someone else take the pleasure of pointing them out.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 18, 2011 | 9:05 p.m.

df - Sorry, but I can't take the infamous Fogle Graphs as absolute fact (as you would like), in fact I'm not able to decipher much of anything that might lend meaning to our subject. Poor dumb me. We always must get date specific,when writing about the 12 yrs R's had anything to do with majorities in our Congress. Clinton took office Jan '93, he, Dodd, Frank,were in position to do their damage, until Jan '95 when R's took control of House and Senate. Then,there is the matter of "Executive Order" of which Clinton is the acknowledged king, (after LBJ, who paid for Vietnam and the [not so] Great Society with our SS payments to the "payroll tax"). The following discusses his use of that tool.

This really is becoming boring, but moving on past, "FOX NEWS and my masters", lets just discuss your alternative to "trickle-down economics". What do you call it, the vassals obligation to the King, or what?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle May 19, 2011 | 8:06 a.m.

The data used to create the graphs comes from un-disputed BLS, census, CBO, and industry sources. Or at least it was un-disputed, until just now, when 'poor dumb you' had to question it because it doesn't correlate to the lies you believe in. Sure, LBO puts a nice leftist spin on the data in it's articles. But, the graphs and the data behind them are quite accurate. If you don't believe it, do the research for yourself and prove it wrong.

The rest of your tripe is amusing, but... I've had my fill of amusement for now, and it sounds like someone is pulling on your leash, too. Goodbye.

(Report Comment)

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