by Yves Smith
I suppose there is no point in being part of the 1% unless you can throw your weight around.
Greg Palast writes in the Guardian of how Goldman took a wee bit of revenge on Occupy Wall Street via the itty bitty credit union ($30 million in assets) that OWS chose for its bank account, Peoples Bank. Peoples has “a unique Federal charter”. It focuses on low income customers, meaning families with less than $38,000 in income (to get to how far that goes in the rest of the US ex maybe San Francisco, reduce that amount by at least 30%).
Goldman had donated $5,000 as a sponsor of a 25th anniversary party for the bank. So far, so good, until someone at Goldman gets wind of the fact that the invitations include its name along with that of other donors, as well as the honoree: Occupy Wall Street. Now to Palast:
When a Goldman exec saw its gilded name next to Occupy Wall Street, the financial giant expressed much displeasure. In fact, my sources say, Goldman threatened legal action unless the credit union gave up the $5,000 and reprinted the invite sans the Sachs moniker. Goldman Sachs did not respond to our requests for comment on the affair.
So far, it’s a cute story: tiny bank uses Goldman’s money to fete some tent-dwellers who are denouncing Sachs as the Giant Vampire Squid.
But there’s a lot more at stake in this battle than a $5,000 donation gone wrong. Underneath, it’s a battle royal for control of tens of billions of dollars in government mandated “community reinvestment” funds.
Yves here. Yes, sports fans. When Goldman became a bank during the crisis, it became subject to CRA. Back to Palast: