Economic Terrorism’s Big Comeback

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Just last year, Piven urged delinquent mortgage holders to stay in their homes for as long as possible without paying in order to bring the system crashing down. She told videographer Kyle Olson:

But if millions of people … refuse to go along with foreclosure proceedings, and refuse to pay off those mortgages that are under water, that will be enormous pressure on the banks. And if they do it in the form of a social movement, if they do it with pride and audacity, if they do it with a sense of self-righteousness, the political leaders of this country will not be able to round them up.

But radicalizing “under water” homeowners is only one component of the SEIU plan: Lerner also spelled out how he would help to destroy the stock market. “We need to build a movement based on … the oppression we’re going to face … and the key thing … is, we have to say, what does the other side fear most? They fear disruption; they fear uncertainty.”

After Greeks rioted over austerity measures, the stock market fell, he observed. “The folks that control this country care about one thing: how the stock market does; how the bond market does; and what their bonus is.”

Lerner said a strategy was needed that addressed the following questions: “How do we bring down the stock market, how do we bring down their bonuses, how do we interfere with their ability … to be rich?” It is important “to politically isolate them, economically isolate them and disrupt them,” he said.

Lerner said that after consulting his allies he decided that JPMorgan Chase would be “a really good company to hate.” He explained

We’re going to roll out over the next couple of months what will hopefully be an exciting campaign about JPMorgan Chase that is really about challenging the power of Wall Street. And so what we’re looking at is in the first week of May, we get enough people together – we’re starting now – to really have a week of action in New York with the goal of … I don’t want to go into any details because I don’t know which police agents are in the room, but the goal would be that we would roll out in New York the first week in May.

The fact that Lerner was concerned “police agents” might be spying on him is telling, especially since SEIU is well-known for violence and for storming banks and the homes of corporate executives.

Lerner provided more details of his plan in a column at In These Times, which also happens to publish convicted, unrepentant cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

In the op-ed he calls for state and local governments to stop doing business with banks that refuse to become de facto relief agencies by redistributing their own wealth to homeowners who made dumb investment decisions. Targeted are banks that don’t pay their “fair share” in taxes or refuse to slash interest rates and partially forgive mortgage principal.

Lerner exhorts students and local governments –which employ many public sector union members— not to pay back “[u]nfair [d]ebt” unless interest rates are lowered. Such a loan strike “would threaten CEO bonuses and bottom lines of the banks.” Public employee unions can also press state and local governments to dump their more sophisticated investments such as “interest rate swaps,” which he claims cost taxpayers at least $1.8 billion a year nationally.

California can be threatened with public employee strikes to force it to renegotiate outstanding debt, which Lerner fantasizes would save $21 billion that could then flow into the pockets of organized labor. Whether California, whose outstanding debt has engendered the lowest bond rating of all 50 states, is even in a position to seek a rating upgrade is far from clear.

Lerner isn’t the first to advocate using in-your-face tactics. Small-c communist Heather Booth and George Goehl openly discussed how to murder the American Dream at the “America’s Future Now!” conference last summer in Washington, D.C.

“The banking crisis is the next big thing,” said Goehl, executive director of Chicago-based National People’s Action. “The banking crisis is the way to build a big economic justice movement in this country.”

The crisis presents “a once in a lifetime opportunity as progressives to engage millions of Americans in a big conversation around serious economic restructuring,” he said, “not around eking out some victories around the margins, not about making life a little less worse for people, but about big time transformative change.”

“People are ready to move to the streets, some because they’re angry, some because they want justice right now, and some because they’re tired of hearing about the tea party coming out.”

Booth, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, said an economy-killing “financial speculation tax” was needed to curb the incentive for people to participate in markets. “A big battle still needs to be waged to curb the incentive for speculation and to get our money back to fund jobs and health care, climate and more,” said the old hand at leftist astro-turfing operations.

If President Obama had attended the 2010 panel discussion, he probably would have given Booth and Goehl a spirited fist bump.


Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter. Vadum’s book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, will be published in mid-2011.

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  • jaythehistorian

    Lerner is a clear menace to our society. I pray he "storms" a house in which the owner is waiting for him with legally owned firearm .It would be similar to shooting a rabid dog.

  • Amused

    Oh BUNK ! The Wall Street boys skipped LEGAL Avenues in transferring mortgagesin their fevered rush for fast profit , and reselling those investment packages . When did you ever buy a house , without the Bank , the Closing Company and your lawyer , crossing ALL the T's and dottinbg ALL the I 's ??
    Now after breaking all the rules , including their own ,on who is qualified and who is not, to recieve mortgage loans and refinancing , after lobbying and removing legislation which seperated Commercial and Investment Banking practices , after inflating the housing market until it all blew up in their faces , [ and everyone elses ] after fattening their portfolios and the greedy investors , [ which included the pension funds of many States as well as those of unions ] who would not see what an economics 101 student could clearly see was coming , so now the chickens come home to roost , AND YOU SINGLE OUT LERNER ???

  • Amused

    So now as the Banks attempt to evict , all the " losers " in the frenzied game that was played , after all the the investment pigs fattened up at the troff , it is discovered that no one knows where the original deed proving ownership is . WHO'S FAULT IS THAT ? Oh the " losers " are not blameless either , for they allowed themselves to be lead , but their illusion was facilitated and perpetuated by the very lenders who wrote the loans . Legal Fiduciary Responsibilies were tossed out the window , the Government watchdogs , appointed SEC overseers looked the other way, as NONE would attempt to stop the feeding frenzy , and anger the powerfull lobbies , and their political facilitators, everyone was in on it from the Banks to bond raters , Insurance Companies becoming Banks , and banks becoming insurance companies , all devising insane financial products [derivitives etc.] and even those breaking all the rules of liquidity and backing by changing A WORD , in their descriptions …..sonlets put the blame on the " losers " at the bottom , the last ones out of the burning movie house . What hypocritical BULLSHEET !!!

  • Amused

    " The Economic Terrorism " has already occurred , over the past decade or so . And the guilty are now named huh ? What utter TRIPE !!

  • jaythehistorian

    The reason for the housing depression ,which is a major reason for the economic depression are parasites of color, their Stalinist allies, and traitors such as Bill Clinton. The 3 pieces of evidence are the community reinvestment act , Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Community Reinvestment act was one of many methods used in the looting of wealth of whites by non-whites. Banks figuratively had a loaded gun to their heads. If they didn't make housing loans according to some predetermined racial quota , they faced severe punishment from the Federal government. Non whites are burden on American society. It is not all their fault as many whites especially Democrats, RINOs, and members of Labor Unions who were very willing to ruin our country in order to gain and keep political and economic power by "paying off" non whites. One statistic tells the entire story. For the past 47 years , no democrat candidate for President has received the majority of the white male vote. For almost 50 years, the democrats and their auxillaries such as Labor Unions especially labor union thugs have been systematically robbing White males and transferring their jobs and wealth mainly to non-whites. To blame "Wall Street" as the major cause of our current economic depression, is only to deflect attention away from the real culprits.

    • ajnn

      "Non whites are burden on American society". This is not tolerable. Putting a racial spin on this is wrong; both factually and morally.

      It is not non-whites who are a burden, the problem is white people who have no knowledge or experience with being poor and thier nonsensical 'remedies' which inolve distorting our government and private enterprise beyond recognition with nonsense like the 'Community Reinvestment Act' and senators likie barney Frank wjho are corrup socialists.

    • rdb3

      Why'd you inject race into the discussion?

      • Amused

        LOL….because at it;s heart it IS A RACIAL DISCUSSION , charading as politik . And the idiots here spouting it, are under the illusion that no one can see it .

  • Jim_C

    You're right jaytheracisthistorian–it's simply too much to expect ethics from the financial sector.

    If we did, we'd literally have to hang a few of them in the public square to keep them in line. And we're not savage like that. After all what's thousands and thousands of people's pensions compared to one poor Wall Street execs life?

    If anything, we're to blame, looking the other way while times are good. Meanwhile you have a revolving door between Congress and K street, or betwen the SEC and Wall Street. Laws and regulations mean nothing when there's no will to prosecute wrongdoing.

    • ajnn

      Good point, " Laws and regulations mean nothing when there's no will to prosecute wrongdoing".

      We do not need new & improved laws and regulation; we need to enforce the laws that we have now !!!!!

      • Jim_C

        Now, especially, is not the time to heavily regulate financial markets. It's all about that revolving door. If I know I can make 7 figures at your firm when I leave my government post, advising you how to work around my agency, I'm not so inclined to go after you. It's the same with Washington lobbyists/Congress. There are a lot of reasons our economy has suffered, but this collusion is the biggest single reason–because it ties directly into our electoral process.

  • sflbib

    Talk about biting you nose to spite your face.

  • Jim_C

    The CRA is a total macguffin for the real malfeasance.

  • Rifleman

    As a matter of fact they do want to wreck this country. How does one delude themselves otherwise, when they come right out and say it?

    Cease the compulsory deduction of union members’ dues from their paychecks. It would make union commies like lerner more accountable to the people they supposedly represent, and you’d never again hear them suggest anyone not mail a check.

  • Amused

    Oh what bullsheet Rigleman , uniion dues deducted from paychecks are a simple matter of accounting expense , antone in a union in a right to work state get one , in some cases TWO periods in the year to opt out of the union .Following your rationale then why should your group medical insurance be automatically deducted from your paycheck ?
    Your statement is one of ignorance, and of course embellisherd with your predisposed bias . Your "frothing -at-the-mouth " anti-unionism , causes you to parrot foolishness .

  • biggershovel

    In the United States, the radical left's primary modus operandi in forcing lending institutions to make all those bad loans to unqualified individuals was the threat of prosecution for racial discrimination. This was in all probability not a threat: there were and probably remain radical, Marxist-leaning judges throughout the court system who would rule against the financial institutions despite the fact that making loans to most of these unqualified individuals was unsound at best. The aforementioned plus the later admissions of the Obama-Holder "Justice" Department should serve as testimony to the fact that anti-caucasian (aka reverse) racism forms a large proportion of the neo-Marxist agenda in the United States and that is certainly a very dangerous development we can not ignore. One could also examine the mass immigration of non-whtie ethnicities from thrid world nations over the past generation and find still more evidence(that third world immigrants receive blatantly preferential treatment through the welfare system,paid for mostly by whites who have no say at all in how their tax money is spent). As for whites never having experienced poverty, a quick trip to the backwoods of West Virgina or Mississippi will quickly dispel that delusion.

    • eyetalic

      I would LOVE to think it was the leftists 'forcing' the banks to be criminals, because there are a few people I would 'rip a new one' for. Unfortunately, the historical record shows (regardless of what they invent on FOX news) that it was the Repubs deregulating the banks that did it. Really. C'mon, unless you're rich, don't defend banks and politicians. They think of you as cattle to the slaughter. Your job on Earth is to get them richer. Research. (I can't support either side these days, btw. Both parties are out for the rich).

  • Amused

    Bullsheet "bigger shovel " when have you EVER seen banks forced to do anything ? Besides that weak argument , you'rte gonna try and sell the story , that Banks weren't falling all over themselves to get in the "flip this house game " ? Where have you been forv the past 15 years ? In a Cave ? And the boys on Wall Street , completely free to break the rules Bush's "watchdogs " in the SEC were ignoring , created investment packages , and insurance devices for those packages , whilst never having the liquidity to even call themselves Insurance Companies who are you kidding man ? You cant be that blinded by your partisan politics not to have seen it , and atleast not to recognize the causes after the fact . But I guess all you "so caled Republican /Conservatives " give your "pavlovian response " – Acorn- Community Reinvestment -Obama …blah , blah , blah , etc. etc . Tell me genius , even supposing your culprit was"the guilty party " , do you know what percentage of the millions of Americans actually benefited from your red herring bogeyman.? I doubt it , you can't see beyond your own partisan nose .

  • Amused

    Funny , When the truth is spoken around here , the "thumbs down " appear out of the woodwork , it's not what anyone wants to hear , it goes against all of the rhetoric pablum they been swallowing whole and expectorating all over the place . That's WHY it's gonna happen again …too many camels with their heads in the sand and arses in the air , for as we speak , those boys on Wall street have not been discouraged , "new financial products ", more devious than their former failed schemes, are being devised . And YOU people , are playing right into their hands , and your "patriot teabagging politicians "as well as lapping dog Dems , are afraid to do anything about it . For THEY KNOW where their campaign funds come from ….and the boys on Wall Street ? They make the money , whether you win or lose .

  • Amused

    PART 2 of the housing bubble DEBACLE – FIND THE TITLE . And the foreclosure Judges aint buying the bullsheet ….NO TITLE – NO FORECLOSURE …now THAT'S AMERICA , not your lopsided partisan debased view which kisses and licks the arses of GREEDY INVESTMENT BANKERS , Insurance Companies , Derivative Brokers, Short Sellers and the rest of the dreggs on Wall Street .

  • allen

    u fu$*in fascist pigs … go to hell

  • Anonymous

    This hardly sounds like a proponent of terrorism as a political weapon:

  • eyetalic

    You must be rich. Only a rich person would defend corporations/banks which send jobs out of the country while reaping RECORD profits. That means you're trying to convince POOR people that we should accept being poor so you can get richer. And then you make it seem like it's patriotism by bringing in descriptions of communists. This is not Russia. This is America. And we are the People. It's OUR country. You are a Traitor.

    It's not Capitalism vs. Communism. It's DEMOCRACY vs. any form of rule which takes away our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

    • Kalie Smith

      Eyetalic, you sound like a marxist. Not a word about crony capitalism as practiced by the Democraps or Democrap/RINO Government Greed.

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