As the holidays recede and millions of Americans look ahead to a year of slashed federal food aid and discontinued unemployment benefits, Wall Street bankers are preparing for a $92 billion windfall in end-of-the-year bonuses.
In what is being described as a win/win for the much maligned banking industry, nearly 50,000 people are calling on those bankers to donate that cash to the ten million Americans made homeless by the housing crisis.
"That $91.44 Billion a year could go a very long way towards undoing the vast damage done by Wall Street’s megabanks that have engaged in megafraud," reads an online petition, organized by Occupy Wall Street spinoff organization, The Other 98 Percent.
Roughly 1,500 signatures shy of their 50,000 goal, the petition is calling on employees of Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to "help the folks that you Scrooged out of their homes and end the homelessness crisis you created."
According to analysts with compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates, in the first nine months of 2013, big wall street banks set aside $91.44 billion for bonuses with many in the banking sector seeing a rise of as much as 15 percent in their end of year compensation.
"This is from the industry that made ten million people homeless from the foreclosure crisis and also spent the majority of 2013 dodging criminal prosecutions for their many crimes," notes Alexis Goldstein, former wall street professional and current Occupy Wall Street activist.
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"You know what Wall Street can do with that money instead of spending it on watches, gadgets and cars? The could help homeowners," she adds.
"Megabankers might not spend too much time outside of the financial district, but we do, and we know that bankers are unbelievably unpopular right now," the group writes. "It doesn’t take a genius to know this is good PR – it’s a win/win for the banks!"
The National Affordable Housing Trust is a program that, if funded for $30 billion a year for 10 years, could END homelessness in America. The banks could pay for the first two years of funding with one year of bonuses alone! Meanwhile, public housing—y’know, the place that the foreclosed have largely been pushed into?—has needed $21 Billion in repairs for a long time. That means $10.44 Billion left over—more than enough bonuses for every Wall Street banker to take many, many, many trips to Disney World, or whatever Wall Street bankers spend their money on.
Wall Street employees are typically told in January how much their year-end bonus, which includes cash and stock awards, will be.