On October seventeenth (O17), a group of about 10 occupiers gathered outside 15 Central Park West, the address of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s multi-million dollar condo. Occupy Goldman Sachs was born. In the model of sleepful protests, they set up camp across from the building’s main gate. They brought sleeping bags, signs, food, cameras...and have not left the area since.
It’s now been over 40 days, and they are going strong. They have bounced around the building, to keep the NYPD on their toes and avoid bad weather. Arrests have been minimal and outreach has been phenomenal. The support from the neighborhood has been extremely positive, people are constantly stopping by with words of support and encouragement.
They decided as a unit to hold the space through Hurricane Sandy, and immediately after, people from the site were out in the many areas affected by the storm doing relief work. The site now doubles as an Occupy Sandy info hub, providing information on how to volunteer and donate to the high levels of foot traffic. The main location is at the corner of 61st St. and Broadway, deliciously across from a Chase Bank.
The case against Goldman Sachs is as simple as it is complex. The firm engages in practices we have not yet outlawed, but should. As Matt Taibbi wrote, “They [aren't] murderers or anything; they [have] merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye.” They place their former officials at the highest levels of financial power in positions around the globe, making it easier for them to sway politicians and influence policy. Just this week it was announced that a former investment banker from the firm will head the Bank of England. Mark Carney is the same man who, in 1998 led efforts to advise the Russian government on its economic recovery while his firm, Goldman Sachs, placed financial bets on the failure of the Russian economy
They lobby Congress to bail them out with taxpayer dollars, while having a major stake within the Federal Reserve. Currently, they are funding lobbying to slash and burn all social safety nets, all public resources, and all means in which we care for our communities.They sell complicated derivative products to their clients, products they often gamble against to always guarantee an upper hand. The Managing Directors and Partners of Goldman Sachs contribute millions to the major political parties, guaranteeing them an audience in the White House, no matter who wins. The CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, has become one of a few select spokespeople for the dominant corrupt corporate culture, and that was evident as he took the stand in 2010 in front of a Senate Subcommittee to defend himself from the grilling questions of multiple Senators. Despite the recommendation from Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) to the Department of Justice, for Goldman Sachs to be investigated and prosecuted for financial crimes, the firm remains unexamined and unregulated.
It is imperative for people to speak up and speak out against the pervasive corruption of our global economy at the hands of Goldman Sachs. We seek to expand the concept to cities where Goldman has tentacles/offices. We hope to see OGS London, OGS Boston, OGS Madrid and all the rest. We face a global epidemic of poverty, homelessness, and war, while Goldman Sachs lobbies to pocket $134 billion in resources from the countries in which they work.