Goldman Sachs is striking back at Occupy Wall Street.
Goldman pulled both their donation and support for a fundraising dinner held by the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union after the community bank listed “Occupy Wall Street” as one of its honorees at the event, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Goldman has been a favourite target for the ire of protestors. One piece of “art” used in the protests was Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s severed head. The protesters also used signs that say “Goldman Sachs is the work of the devil.”
But this specific problem started in September.
Investigative journalist Greg Palast said on a broadcast of Citizen Radio: “[Goldman is] not job creators…. So to put their money where their mouth is…Occupy Wall Street put their bushel of donations in a not-for-profit community bank…the Lower East Side Credit Union.”
Then a fundraising dinner, sponsored in part by Goldman, made plans to honour the protesters.
According to a protester, Goldman “went ballistic,” once they found out that Occupy Wall Street would be honored, and wanted their names taken off the event invitation and threatened legal action.
Obviously, $5,000 is pennies to Goldman Sachs, so why did they donate at all? When Goldman became a commercial bank to accept TARP funding, they also had to give back to the local community under the Community Reinvestment Act. They picked the Lower East Side Credit Union, and now it looks like they want to use this incident as an example of what happens to small banks that side with the protesters.
The $5,000 donation Goldman had pledged would have covered a quarter of the $20,000 cost to hold the dinner celebrating the credit union’s 25th anniversary. The local bank hopes to raise $70,000 at the fundraiser.
After invites went out, six of the 12 hosts listed on the invite pulled their names. Capital One is another bank that had their names taken off the invitation, although they have stuck with their promise of donating $5,000 to the event, according to the WSJ.
The credit union’s initial decision and the subsequent effects on the fundraiser has also caused a rift between community and non-profit leaders and the banks, in another sign of the controversial nature and dividing power of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The dinner takes place November 3.