WEC Divests from Wall Street
In 1981, the Reagan administration enacted a slew of financial deregulations and tax reforms which made private equity and hedge fund activity significantly more profitable. This included cutting the tax on capital gains, and legalizing stock buybacks – a practice previously considered illegal stock manipulation.
In 1982, U.S. Secretary Treasurer William Simon, with two partners, borrowed $79 million, mostly from large banks, to purchase Gibson Greetings, one of the largest greeting card companies in the U.S.
The purchase saddled Gibson Greeting with millions of dollars of debt, debt which fell on the company itself. To pay it off, workers’ wages, pensions, and benefits were slashed. Sixteen months later, they sold Gibson Greeting, resulting in massive profits for themselves and the bankers and investors involved.
This began a trend in a deregulated financial sector: big banks irresponsibly lend money to greedy private equity firms and hedge funds, who make billions off debt financing by piling it onto workers.
The reckless activities of big banks and Wall Street is largely responsible for stagnant wages for workers. It has led to the erosion of tax bases and public services in the United States.
The New Jersey Work Environment Council, in the interest of building safe, secure jobs and a healthy, sustainable environment, and in line with our values of putting public needs over the narrow interests of a wealthy few, has closed its account and divested all funds from Wells Fargo.
WEC funds have been deposited into the Credit Union of New Jersey, and the Amalgamated Bank, financial institutions which have no affiliation with Wall Street firms or banks.
In the fight for dignity, safety, and decent wages for all workers, and all people everywhere, it is important that we identify and define our common challenges and work together to overcome them.
The interests of big banks, Wall Street firms, and corporate executives cannot come before the interests of working people any longer and it is impossible to fight for the latter without fighting against the former.
Please join us in this fight: learn how Wall Street firms and big banks have robbed our economy blind while turning working people against one another. Apply now for our Public Need over Corporate Greed Trainer Apprenticeship Program, and learn how we can fight back against the organized criminals who have taken over our economy!