Former SEIU official demanded action to destabilize banking system, overthrow capital

posted at 12:55 pm on March 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The Blaze and Business Insider bring us a rather remarkable speech from former SEIU executive Stephen Lerner from last weekend, describing how to make unions relevant again and bring back stability to the American economy.  Apparently, Lerner comes from the “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet” school of economics, because Lerner’s ideas of bringing stability seem to be taken from the ending of Fight Club. The Blaze has the pertinent clip and the longer, full audio, while BI provides the transcript:

There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.

For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right their home they are paying more for it then its worth 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home that’s totally spontaneous they figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up

If you could double that number you would you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again.

Students have a trillion dollar debt

We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks so the question would be what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike if we get half a million people to agree it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks not for us we would be doing quite well we wouldn’t be paying anything…

We have to think much more creatively. The key thing… What does the other side fear the most – they fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece the markets went down

The folks that control this country care about one thing how the stock market goes what the bond market does how the bonuses goes. We have a very simple strategy:

  • How do we bring down the stock market
  • How do we bring down their bonuses
  • How do we interfere with there ability to be rich…

So a bunch of us around the country think who would be a really good company to hate we decided that would be JP Morgan Chase and so we are going to roll out over the next couple of months what would hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street.

And so what we are looking at is the first week in May can we get enough people together starting now to really have an week of action in New York I don’t want to give any details because I don’t know if there are any police agents in the room.

The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas

  • that we are not broke there is plenty of money
  • they have the money  - we need to get it back
  • and that they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try and  destroy us

And so we need to take on those folks at the same time. And that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience – direct action all over the city. Then roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting which they moved out of New York because I guess they were afraid because of Columbus.

There is going to be a ten state mobilization to try and shut down that meeting and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country and try and create some moments like Madison except where we are on offense instead of defense

Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations. We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can’t do itself that community groups can’t do themselves but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enough  and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.

This might be more compelling if not for the fact that the SEIU fired Lerner in November, as BI reports, for trying to spend millions of dollars on this very project.  Apparently, the first rule of Labor Nihilist Club is not to talk about Labor Nihilist Club.  The second rule of Labor Nihilist Club?  Keep your hands off the union cash, dude.  It’s a point of exceptional irony that just can’t be missed.

I don’t think that anyone doubts that labor in this country has become poisonously hostile to private enterprise, thanks in large part to its inability to organize workers outside of the public sector.  Its leaders surely share Lerner’s hostility to so-called “fat-cat bankers”, Wall Street executives, and anyone in general that makes a profit off of their hard work, ingenuity, and investment.  But the final questioner in the longer video inadvertently makes the case that unions have just as much invested in the current system as everyone else, thanks to their pension fund investments, and stand to lose just as much if not more than most if the system collapses, whether organically or from a “poor people’s movement” attack.  That’s why Lerner doesn’t have access to those big bucks any longer, and why Labor Nihilist Club is going to fall short of its Fight Club fantasies.


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Comment pages: 1 2

How did Beck get the tape? A mole on the inside of this stuff is the best news ever!

Also, Piven was there? I’d like to hear her story about how Beck is picking on a poor old grandma who said some nasty stuff 30 years ago. It’s all so unfair.

petunia on March 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I would also like to know who was there to record it. Thank heavens for them, I hope they remain safe!

Bambi on March 22, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Sedition. This is conspiracy to overthrow the government.

CatoRenasci on March 22, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Yes, it is. And the fact that this POS has been to the White House makes Obamao a co-conspirator.

Naturally Curly on March 22, 2011 at 4:15 PM

I would also like to know who was there to record it. Thank heavens for them, I hope they remain safe!

Bambi on March 22, 2011 at 4:08 PM

They will not remain safe if their identity is revealed. The goonion thugs will see to that.

Naturally Curly on March 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Its leaders surely share Lerner’s hostility to so-called “fat-cat bankers”, Wall Street executives, and anyone in general that makes a profit off of their hard work, ingenuity, and investment.

That makes me sick, Morrissey. You really think that sentence represents right minded thinking? You may be just as bad for a free America as Lerner. “So-called” fat cat bankers? Go shine Dick Fuld’s shoes. It’s the GOP way apparently.

rhodeymark on March 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

I’m watching Beck now, which I never do.
I have absolutely no doubt, after all we saw in WI that this is quite possible and probably well under way.

ORconservative on March 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM

The article about Lerner, mentions Mary Kay several times. What is that?

Cindy Munford on March 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

New troll?

steebo77 on March 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I hope so. We need some new blood. The old crop is self-destructing at an astonishing rate. Makes for a rather boring echo-chamber at times.

shibumiglass on March 22, 2011 at 5:35 PM

rhodeymark on March 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Do you believe all bankers and banks are bad, or that there are a statistically-average number of corrupt individuals in banking as in the rest of life?

I’ve not seen you post before. Are you new?

shibumiglass on March 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Another leftard infant who believes that the existence of rich people is the reason that poor people are poor. Just like the one that sits in the Oval Office.

Cicero43 on March 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Very succinct…I like that!

These Commies have been weasling their way into all facets of our society since they came running over here from Europe after their failed 1848 revolutions (one I know of off hand, Carl Schurz became a Union general, a senator and an ambassador-and he was a Republican, BTW).

There are no long-standing organizations that they haven’t moved into and co-opted to some extent (except maybe the John Birch Society)-banking, unions, education, the military (Gen. Smedley Butler comes to mind), the Catholic Church (Catholic Worker Movement), business, law, government (of course)…

So to attack any such group or organization necessitates throwing out the baby with the bath water, and they know it.

Also, economic collapse, I believe, isn’t coming solely because of the Communists…they’re getting a lot of help from Capitalists themselves and other factors.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 22, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Hey rhodeymark—if bankers are so bad, what do you do with your money?

Sekhmet on March 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM

rhodeymark on March 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

?????????????????????

Bambi on March 22, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Regardless of which bank they go after, they are only the servicer. Most mortgages and all student loans are government owned. So the unions will just be attacking the taxpayer. Again.

Cindy Munford on March 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

cloward piven.

reliapundit on March 22, 2011 at 5:50 PM

The greedy farmers have too much seed corn! We must seize it and share it out equally so that everyone will have enough seed corn to make seed corn soup every night for 50 squilliomn years!!1!11!

Sharke on March 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I watched Beck too to see the rest.
Lerner has been to the WH 4 times! And Treasury!

Good grief. This is a bombshell.

Which will be ignored by the MSM.

PattyJ on March 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Bankers are not your friends.

bingsha on March 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I’m sure my banker friends would be surprised to hear that.

Let me guess: You’re a brainwashed product of one of our institutions of higher learning and have little to no experience in the real world?

Rod on March 22, 2011 at 6:23 PM

The article about Lerner, mentions Mary Kay several times. What is that?

Cindy Munford on March 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Never mind, I got it.

Cindy Munford on March 22, 2011 at 6:34 PM

conservatives will never figure out how the world really works until they realize that while yes, theoretical capitalism and making a profit are good things, that is not the world in which we live. Bankers are not your friends.

bingsha on March 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM

New troll?

steebo77 on March 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Probably one of the old trolls back under a new name. I see, as usual, they throw a bomb and run away.

trigon on March 22, 2011 at 7:04 PM

conservatives will never figure out how the world really works until they realize that while yes, theoretical capitalism and making a profit are good things, that is not the world in which we live. Bankers are not your friends.

bingsha on March 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM

New troll?

steebo77 on March 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Probably one of the old trolls back under a new name. I see, as usual, they throw a bomb and run away.

trigon on March 22, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Hard to say without him sticking around to clarify, but bomb throwing or not, are there not several former bankers, investment brokerage employees and Wall Street employees working in the Obama Administration? TARP?

Look at all the banks that are being investigated for mortgage fraud by the FDIC. From the S&L scandals twenty-five years ago on up, something like 2000 bank employees have been convicted of fraud.

I am in favor of a banking system and of course believe it to be important to establishing credit and financing a modern society, and certainly most bankers are honest…however, the point can be made that these jokers have cost the system hundreds of billions in losses.

But, what do you do? I don’t want more regulations and red tape (wouldn’t do much good anyway). Just might be symptomatic of where our society’s been headed for quite some time. On the other hand, this stuff requires collusion and who knows how many have not been caught and never will?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 22, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Speaking of the SEIU, the thuggery continues, this time in Pennsylvania.

Buy Danish on March 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Time to RICO the marxist unions just like the French food company.

tim c on March 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

But, what do you do? I don’t want more regulations and red tape (wouldn’t do much good anyway). Just might be symptomatic of where our society’s been headed for quite some time. On the other hand, this stuff requires collusion and who knows how many have not been caught and never will?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 22, 2011 at 7:33 PM

The thing that has bugged me all along about blaming the bankers is that it just assumes that they all woke up one morning and decided to become crooks and crash the system. The banking and mortgage system has worked fairly well for decades. Particularly the mortgage system. Then, suddenly it didn’t. Industries don’t work that way without outside influences. The trick is to discover what outside influences caused, or allowed, the situation that happened to happen.

trigon on March 22, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I wouldn’t bother with the Business Insider link. The Paultards are infesting the comments.

Hey there. In this fight, the Paul folks are on our side.

Nelsen on March 22, 2011 at 9:07 PM

The trick is to discover what outside influences caused, or allowed, the situation that happened to happen.

trigon on March 22, 2011 at 8:50 PM

It’s already been figured out: in the absolute most simplest terms: The system was Barney Franked.

Rod on March 22, 2011 at 9:09 PM

however, the point can be made that these jokers have cost the system hundreds of billions in losses.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 22, 2011 at 7:33 PM

You can’t blame bankers for being forced by the federal government to lower their lending standards and then foisting upon them the worthless, packaged derivatives that were the inevitable result of the federal government’s attempt to manipulate the housing market.

Rod on March 22, 2011 at 9:25 PM

It’s true that Wall Street and foreign banks with the complicity of the Federal Reserve have stolen at least 17 trillion dollars from the United States. The bill for this larceny is left on the middle classes plate. This jerks plan for crashing the system by stealing more is just more theft from the same middle class. The banks and hedge funds have a fantastically sweet deal where they profit from such action. These criminals who have left us holding the bag need to be prosecuted yet any politician who talks about this is marginalized and called a kook by the MFM. (who stand to be rewarded for their complicity since they are owned by this new mafia)
You should have observed by now, the blogosphere is all too happy to parrot those slanders.

Beto Ochoa on March 22, 2011 at 10:23 PM

There is something far darker than theft dwelling in the socialist heart. It involves getting rid of all the people who think the wrong way, by any means necessary.

Rational Thought on March 22, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Yeah, I’ve been convinced for some time that socialism/communism and it’s brethren in the extremist Muslim and social justice communities are all tools of the devil. To the non-thinking person, liberalism sounds wonderful because it appeals to the emotion. Who can argue with clean air and water, or feeding the poor, or the oft-perverted notion of “equality?” These people lure unsuspecting young people or braindead Hollywood types into their ranks by promising utopia for all. In reality, they are black-hearted, with no tolerance for people whose ideas differ from theirs. They are bigots and haters who want to purge society of those whose lives they deem less valuable. They want to steal from hard-working Americans what they have rightfully earned and create chaos and hardship for everyone but themselves. This is the very definition of evil IMO.

NoLeftTurn on March 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM

But, what do you do? I don’t want more regulations and red tape (wouldn’t do much good anyway). Just might be symptomatic of where our society’s been headed for quite some time. On the other hand, this stuff requires collusion and who knows how many have not been caught and never will?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 22, 2011 at 7:33 PM

There will always be those who game the system. Always. The trick is not to make it harder to game – that just makes the manipulation get better at hiding itself. The idea is to make the rules and actions more transparent – allowing smart, long-term money to avoid fast-buck gamesters every time. Or, if you’re convinced they’re all gaming things, there’s always the option of refusing to play. There’s no law that says you have to buy a house, put money into your own retirement (aside from SSI, and is there really anyone under the age of 45 that thinks they’ll ever see a dime out of that scam?). Nor are you required to follow along with the rest of the financial herd in any other matter whatsoever.

Funny how our self-styled “betters” can never remember that option, and in their rush to protect us from ourselves (and sweep their own “doing well” under the rug), they make the “Mulligan National Bank” option look better and better every time they act.

Blacksmith on March 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Also, the fewer rules there are, the fewer rules there are to exploit. The Romans had a saying about a thicket of laws hiding the guilty and tangling the innocent. Considering how many times I’ve seen people rule-book their way into positions of power, I’d say they know what they are talking about.

As always there is also a point at which you have to few for a functioning society, so it is a balancing act, but when even Lawyers do not know how many laws there are in this country, we have to many for any attempted law abiding citizen to know, let alone follow correctly.

Try it. Next time you run into a lawyer, or even a Judge, ask them how many laws are there in the country. I haven’t found one who could even give me a rough estimate or even a ballpark order of magnitude.

Voyager on March 23, 2011 at 1:45 AM

I hope you are all sending the link to your congress people! Listening to Glenn, the one congressman in Utah, Jason Chaffetz has sent a letter, regarding this, to eric holder (the place holder) and we’ll see if he responds.

Bambi on March 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

What bloody planet are these people living on???This crap in my opinion verges on treason.

G. on March 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Can anyone please explain to me why these people think that the things I have work hard for in my life should be given to them????

Ltlgeneral64 on March 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Simple, really: Rather than believing in the principle of “equality of opportunity”, they believe in the principle of “equality of outcome”. Everything else flows from there.

VekTor on March 23, 2011 at 5:28 PM

This guy needs to get followed around 24/7 with a camera crew… He needs to become “uncomfortable”…

Khun Joe on March 23, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Losing $1 billion a month of revenue isn’t NEARLY enough to bring down JP Morgan!

Steve Z on March 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Wanna bet? Try applying leverage in the range of, say, 20x-30x.

riverrat10k on March 23, 2011 at 7:48 PM

This idiot Lerner is so filled with hate, he is clueless on the facts.

As far as student loans made under the Federal program, they are guaranteed by the federal government. Far from bankrupting the banks, he will bankrupt the federal government. All new student loans are not even made by banks , the federal government took that over more than a year ago and they hold the paper.

Most of the underwater loans are also guranteed by Fannie Mae. All the defaulting homeowner will do is gurantee he will be foreclosed upon.

As Forrest Gump once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Corky Boyd on March 23, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Another “idiot” who just happens to have visited the White House four times.

http://lonelyconservative.com/2011/03/stephen-lerner-visited-white-house-4-times-in-2-years-will-justice-department-investigate-plans-for-economic-terrorism/

gordo on March 23, 2011 at 10:07 PM

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