The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry — that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. “Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,” the memo says. “…This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”
The memo was addressed to the lobbying federation, called the American Bankers Association, that represents firms like BB&T and JP Morgan Chase, among others.
As I’ve noted for ThinkProgress, the Boston Tea Party was an anti-corporate protest. The Tea Act, which enraged colonists, was essentially a bailout for the East India Trading Company, of which the British crown invested in. Colonists had no problem with local taxes funding local programs, but were enraged that the Tea Act provided a massive tax cut to the East India Company, while shutting off local American shippers.
This blog is named The Second Alarm after a colonial pamphlet titled “The Alarm,” which laid out the reasons why the monopolistic interests of the East India Trading Company threatened American liberty.
I’ve also written about the potential synergy between the Tea Party and #OWS:
— Top 5 Reasons Why The Occupy Wall Street Protests Embody Values Of The Real Boston Tea Party
— The Boston Tea Party Caused A City Shutdown, So Did Protests Of The Civil Rights Movement
— Could The 99 Percent Movement And Tea Party Find Common Ground Protesting Bank Regulators Corrupted By Wall Street?
I’ve attended dozens of Tea Party events, and a good number of Occupy camps all over the country (I’ve been to Las Vegas, DC, Sacramento, Nashville, Berkeley, and others). While the overarching message is different, the sentiment is sometimes the same. I’ve observed a profound desire to preserve human life and fight back against powerful, self-serving interests. For Tea Party activists, they sincerely believed health reform contained death panels — health committees set up to ration care for Republicans, the disabled and elderly — and that’s why they opposed Obamacare. For #OWS activists, they protest a healthcare system that derives profit from denying care to sick people. Same sentiment (although one is accurate and one is simply absurd), different approaches. I think both movements would support a real, and thorough investigation of the banks. And not just about their misconduct leading to the financial crisis, but also how they used our bailout money to lobby Congress for weak reforms.