Protesters rallied outside of Goldman Sachs' Washington office office Monday and railed against big bonuses and "Too Big To Fail" banks. The SEIU and Public Citizen, a non-profit public interest group, organized the demonstration. The protesters delivered a letter demanding Goldman use its bonus money to help struggling families.
"Today we call on Goldman Sachs to take all of the $23 billion we earned for them and put it aside in a pool for people...who lost their homes," said SEIU president Andy Stern to a crowd of about 200 people. "And that $23 billion -- if you can believe it -- would save every single American next year from losing their home."
Stern and Public Citizen's Robert Weissman said that Goldman helped to inflate the housing bubble, then abandoned the American people when the bubble burst. "You don't go to Wall Street to do God's work," said Weissman, referring to a recent remark by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. "You go to Wall Street to make money."
"They seem to love their company more than they love our country," said Stern, "Goldman Sachs salutes no flag but their own corporate logo. They worship no God but the almighty dollar."
"I think Goldman is realizing that the American people are outraged that they care more about their company than their country," Stern told the Huffington Post, "and I hope that over time they're going to make a different set of decisions than what they've made so far."
Concurrently with the rally, Public Citizen released a report saying the financial industry had given an average of $159,032 to the campaign committees of members of the House and Senate financial regulatory committees.