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Portal:Real Economy Project

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The Real Economy Project Portal

Toxic Assets Getting You Down?

This article is part of the Real Economy Project. Take action at

The big banks on Wall Street have blown a hole in the economy that will take many years to repair. Since the recession began in December 2007, the number of unemployed Americans has risen to 16 million, Americans are losing health care and foreclosures are still rising. We are in a big hole and it is going to take big ideas to climb out of it.

This is the portal page to a collection of editable wiki profiles of the bankers, financial companies, lobbyists, and front groups related to the financial crisis and the bank bailout. You can help us build this library and document the people and policies behind the financial crisis by visiting the "Help Out" section below. Don't let the Banskters write the history of this tumultuous time in America!(About/contact)

Take action to reform the financial industry at CMD's BanksterUSA site!



Tell President Obama to Break Up Bank of America!
December 21, 2011

Something reeks at Bank of America. This behemoth bank has assets equivalent to 15% of our entire economy. So why are its shares trading in the $5 range? Because BofA is a zombie bank. And now this zombie is trying to move $22 trillion in dangerous derivatives from one division into its FDIC-insured division. Tell President Obama, no more bailouts! Break up Bank of America before it breaks us. SIGN THE PETITION

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Break Up Bank of America Before it Breaks Us
December 21, 2011

On Monday, Bank of America (BofA) stocks briefly traded for under $5. Yes, you could buy a share of BofA for less than the noxious debit card fee they tried to force down your throat. BofA is massive, with assets equivalent to 15 percent of U.S. GDP. So why is it trading for the price of a latte? Because Wall Street's dirty little secret is that BofA is a zombie bank. Now the reek is getting too strong to ignore. SIGN THE PETITION

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October 11, 2011

Tell Congress we know where the money is. It's time for Wall Street to start Paying US Back! A tiny tax on Wall Street speculation can generate billions of dollars in revenue to stave off drastic cuts and rebuild America. Join with Americans for Financial Reform, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Demos and the National Nurses United and sign the petition. SIGN THE PETITION TODAY!

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Chicago to Wall Street: Pay US Back!
October 12, 2011

While the Occupy Wall Street movement is sweeping the country and peaceful arrests are mounting, Chicagoans took to the streets this week to hold the big banks accountable for crashing the economy and to demand city, state and federal policies that work for working families.

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September 20, 2011

What is Coca-Cola doing behind closed doors with Koch Industries? CMD has uncovered that smoke-filled back room where Fortune 500 firms and right-wing politicians craft the bills that undermine our wages, our legal rights, our voting rights, and our democracy -- and it is called ALEC. Coca-Cola serves on the corporate governing board of ALEC, along with Koch Industries. Take action here!

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Robin Hood Storms Chase Castle and M&I Execs Get Piggish
May 18, 2011

On Tuesday, the shareholders of Marshall and Ilsley (M&I) Bank of Wisconsin "voted" to give $71 million in bonuses to failed executives as part of an acquisition deal. "Voted" may not be the right word, since CEO Mark Furlong opened and closed the meeting within the span of five minutes, allowing no discussion and no questions from the dozen or so shareholders in the room. Furlong has apparently learned Robert's Rules of Order from his friend Governor Scott Walker and the rest of the gang in the Wisconsin Capitol. Furlong fled to New York to get away from the Wisconsinites who had been badgering him with uncomfortable questions about those embarrassing bonuses, the $1.3 billion in unpaid TARP bailout funds, and the even more embarrassing $54,000 in campaign contributions to Wisconsin's newly-elected governor. Recently, the bank posted its 10th consecutive quarterly loss of $142 million. The bonuses alone would cover half this loss, if they were retained.

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Featured SourceWatch articles


Bloomberg News did a series of Freedom of Information Act requests of the Federal Reserve about their back door bailouts of financial institutions at the height of the financial crisis. Their article "Secret Fed Loans (of $7.7 trillion) Gave Banks $13 Billion (profits) Undisclosed to Congress" is long but a must read. They also have some specific databases that allow for bank by bank research.



JP Morgan Chase and Bear Stearns

JP Morgan Chase has recently been in the news, due to a new law suit by a major insurance firm, Ambac Insurance Corporation, alleging fraud at Chase and even more egregious behavior at Bear Sterns,acquired by Chase in 2008. Documents acquired by Atlantic Monthly suggest that Bear Stern executives cheated clients out of billions by double dipping on securities sales they knew to be flawed. The lawsuit also alleges continued accounting fraud by JP Morgan Chase in an effort to cover-up the problem. In just one example of those embarrassing emails, Bear Sterns top executives crow over selling investors a "sack of shit."

Bear deal manager Nicolas Smith wrote an e-mail on August 11th, 2006 to Keith Lind, a Managing Director on the trading desk, referring to a particular bond, SACO 2006-8, as "SACK OF SHIT [2006-]8" and said, "I hope your [sic] making a lot of money off this trade."

Read more about this important bank and its role in the financial crisis in the profile of JP Morgan Chase.

New to wikis? Here's a video introduction.

More resources

More help on uncovering the real economy:

  • The Financial Crisis Portal: The Center for Media and Democracy's Real Economy Project is now assessing the total cost to taxpayers of the Wall Street bailout. Multiple federal agencies have disbursed $4.6 trillion dollars in support of the financial sector since the meltdown in 2007-2008. Of that, $2 trillion is still outstanding. Our assessment demonstrates that the Federal Reserve has provided by far the bulk of the funding for the bailout in the form of loans amounting to $3.8 trillion. Little information has been disclosed about what collateral taxpayers have received in return for these loans. CMD also concludes that the bailout is far from over, as the government has active programs authorized to cost up to $2.9 trillion, and still has $2 trillion in outstanding investments and loans. Learn more about the 35 programs included in our tally by visiting our new Total Wall Street Bailout Cost Table, which contains links to pages on each bailout program, with details including the current balance sheet for each program.
  • Other blogs, websites and more resources on the financial crisis and bailout


Help out!

The Real Economy Project needs volunteers to help document the people and policies behind the financial crisis and bank bailout. Help can be found at "welcome, newcomers!"; the main help page; and the FAQ.


Project contents

Portals: Financial Crisis · Real Economy Project · CoalSwarm · Toxic Sludge · Tobacco

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