Greg Palasi, writing at the Guardian, reports that Goldman has started an offensive against the tiny People’s Federal Credit Union because People’s providing banking services and moral support for Occupy Wall Street. A nugget:
In 2008, the US Treasury handed Goldman Sachs a check for $10bn from the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (Tarp), the bailout funds given to desperate commercial banks. A few eyebrows were raised: Goldman was not desperate, and it certainly was not a commercial bank. Yet – abracadabra! – Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson transformed investment bank Goldman into a commercial bank overnight. (Paulson’s prior post was chairman of Goldman Sachs. Just saying.)
But there was a catch: Goldman would have to return a chunk of the public’s billions in the form of loans for low-income customers and members of its “community”, as required by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. Problem: Goldman has, it seems, no low-income customers, nor a “community”. Goldman was directed to find poor people and a community and hand over some cash.
So Goldman looked down from its riverfront tower in lower Manhattan and discovered Peoples. Over 80% of Peoples member-owners have low incomes. At least 65% are Latino.
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