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Michael Lewis Would Like To See Occupy Wall Street Start A Run On Some Banks

…if I were in charge I would probably reorganize the movement around a single, achievable goal: a financial boycott of the six “ too big to fail ” Wall Street firms: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo. We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them, and put them in smaller, not “too big to fail” banks. We would stigmatize anyone who invested, in any way, in any of these banks. I’d try to organize college students to protest on campuses. Their first goal would be to force the university endowments to divest themselves of shares in these banks…I think we could create a run on a bank. [TDB]

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85 Responses to “Michael Lewis Would Like To See Occupy Wall Street Start A Run On Some Banks”

  1. Guest says:

    1) Encourage the masses to withdraw their deposits from GS (huh?)
    2) Make too big to fail banks fail
    3) Financial collapse
    4) ???
    5) Write book on bank run
    6) Profit

    • Guest says:

      He said "boycott", not "withdraw deposits from"…
      I'm assuming he means moving all OWS prime brokerage activities to Barclays and Deutsche Bank.

      Just a guess

      • Comprehender says:

        Well, yeah, and in another part he said: 'We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them, and put them in smaller, not “too big to fail” banks.'
        But whatevs.

      • Guest says:

        But I'm long peanut butter spreads!
        -OWS chef

      • Guest says:

        Sometimes I too only read the first sentence of a multiple sentence paragraph and then posit guesses in contrast to facts.

        – RBS Data and Accuracy Quant

      • guest says:

        "We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them"…

    • GDA says:

      so cynical! have you no faith in the good virtues of others man?

    • Guest says:

      Hipster's Poker

  2. guest says:

    ….. Says the art history major

    • guest says:

      Serious question- is this supposed to be some kind of jab at Michael Lewis? If so, how? I understand that many people like to mock those who were liberal arts majors and suggest that they're setting themselves up for a lifetime of not making money, being unemployable, etc but not sure that particular zinger works here? Considering, you know, Lewis, despite his degree in art history, has become a wildly successful author who has made millions off of his books. Just sayin.

      • Aaron says:

        I think the point is not that his degree makes him less successful, but that it makes him less than an authority of the financial, economic, and social ramifications of what he's suggesting (his two years Soloman Bros notwithstanding – let's face it, he's no macroeconomic guru).

        • PermaGuestII says:

          ^ This.

        • Helicopter Ben says:

          Most of the guys I know who work in Big Finance studied liberal arts in college. They only got into those places because they went to schools that start with H-Y-S. It's a mafia, for the most part.

          • Helicopter Ben says:

            Studying C-L-S (crew-lacrosse-squash) also helps.

          • PermaGuestII says:

            You do realize that Economics is a liberal arts major, right?

          • Cut Me says:

            Pish posh!

            -The London School of Economics

          • Guest says:

            Didn't know the Hispanic Youth Symposium was a feeder program to Big Finance

          • Guest says:

            You do realize there's a difference between the liberal arts and art history, right? In most universities, they aren't even part of the same undergraduate school/college.

            There are rigorous majors within liberal arts (even if they aren't really useful, though economics would be for finance) and, in particular, more rigorous majors than art history.

          • Darkstar says:

            Most universities add no educational value and apparently you went to one of those.

            1. Hsart is almost universally liberal arts.
            2. Whoever says Hsart is less rigorous than econ hasnt been around econ in the ivies in the last 50 years (excluding Penn, maybe Columbia).
            3. If you want a major that ties closely to a profession, try the hard sciences, animal science or accounting

            — Econ's fine but you're a moron

          • Guest says:

            Look, Mike, I realize this is a touchy subject for you, but:

            1. You're wrong

            2. Nobody respects an art history major

      • guest says:

        You suck… just sayin

        • Guest says:

          The words "swag" "just sayin" and "cheers" (when closing an email) and the people that use them, need to die a horrible death.

          • chrls says:

            Guest:
            Michael Lewis is a pretty swagged out Art History major. Just sayin'.

            Cheers,
            Chrls

            [**Oh no, please, not into L. Tilton's dirty laundry bag and dragged behind KL's pickup after a Boone's binge!**]

          • guest says:

            Add "yolo"" to the list.

      • triplejjjackson says:

        plus, he's taggin tabitha soren

      • Ty to Carl Spackler says:

        "Yeah, we have a comment section and a thumbs up/ thumbs down section. Thumbs down section is good for you."

  3. Guest says:

    Wouldn't it be easier to just send novelty grenades to each banks HQ's on a daily basis?

  4. GUest says:

    Hair helmets are the NKI.

    -Sam Donaldson

  5. Macallan12 says:

    How about a nice spelling contest?

  6. guest says:

    Great Idea, can I just first have a name of the bank we intend to start the run on?

    -Bank CDS trader

  7. guest says:

    Who would have ever guessed that Michael Lewis was a Crip?

  8. Guest says:

    "Their first goal would be to force the university endowments to divest themselves of shares in these banks…I think we could create a run on a bank."

    Sounds about right.

    – UBS FIG Banker

  9. Guest says:

    Also, let's smash the windows of every Starbucks in Fairfield County

  10. Jamie Dimes says:

    BWAHAHAHAH, you want to start a run on my bank with a group of people who's primary motivation is lack of the aforementioned money?

    I mean, forget the whole run concept, I can save you the exercise and pay out all your deposits right now!

    …..that is, if you can break this C note?

  11. hated one says:

    Haters gonna hate…

  12. ShortNaked says:

    Reminds me of the South Park episode where they tried to kill Wal-Mart. This will just create 6 new TBTF banks.

  13. guest says:

    ** Argument assumes hipsters have money
    -ML

  14. guest says:

    Anyone think this plan might not work given the fact that the hard working members of OWS have no money, thus making a run on the banks slightly difficult. Not to mention, universities are less likely to meet the demands of the hippies that live in a tent in the quad who chased their donating alumni away with a stick

    • Snarky McSnark says:

      I can't believe we've gotten this far into the commenting and no one has yet mentioned that OWS probably =/= big depositors!

  15. Delusional says:

    I think he may be on to something. We all know that the folks who run smaller regional banks will do a much better job at pricing risk/credit.

    Washington Mutual Risk Mgmt

  16. guest says:

    Cruelty Free Bank & Trust

    – Organic checking and savings accounts

    – Low carbon footprint mortgage and small business loans

    – Artisanal trust and wealth management services

    – Fair trade CD's and money markets

  17. BeefandCheese says:

    This sounds like a bit more effort than I'm ready to put forth. Banging bongos and gettting empathy is about my speed….

    – OWS member 6-months strong

  18. Left Koast says:

    Hey Bess – when we gonna see another vending machine challenge?

  19. Carl Lewis says:

    Bess's inbox is a god damn federal reserve!

  20. PermaGuestII says:

    …because disinvestment worked really well with South Africa…

  21. one says:

    Hey, isn't the JP Morgan run coming up soon?

    – Wesley Korir

  22. Bunting Instructor says:

    If he thinks these banks are too big to fail (i.e., ultimately backed by the taxpayer), why would he want to cause a run that would force the taxpayers to bail out these banks (again)?

    If he doesn't think taxpayers will bail out these banks after he triggers his run, then he must not actually believe that they are too big to fail, which raises the question as to what his beef is with these banks.

  23. Stacy Hessler says:

    Rami? Rami? How come you havent responded to my emails or text messages? Rami?

  24. Tanker2Banker says:

    Never trust a guy who can't even get a four seam fastball grip right to come up with a plan to overthrow the top financial institutions. Now a president that failed as a baseball owner, now THERE'S a guy that can fuck up a buncha financial institutions

    • Guest says:

      At least Bush's first pitches make it across the plate…

      • Tanker2Banker says:

        Yep. And that's probably the best thing about his presidency. Not exactly a Rushmore moment, but he did throw a strike or two.

  25. Indubitably says:

    No that they could do it, but are any of these people remotely aware of the implications of a run on the banks? You'd think a few of them would have heard of the Great Depression

  26. K.Loder says:

    Divorcing your wife to marry Tabitha Soren in the 80s is the OKI

  27. guest says:

    He looks like a redneckish unsuccessful version o Charlie Sheen…

  28. The Nuge says:

    Who wants to build a tree house?

  29. justa guest says:

    i hope his obama puff piece vividly describes the bj he gives obama in AF1

    -B. Frank

  30. TheodoreBallgamePhD says:

    In America, it says, "in God we trust" on our money. In Russia, we have no money!

    -Y. Smirnoff

  31. Kweku Adoboli says:

    Thats the bank! Thats the bank! My parents played by the rules! Thats the bank!

  32. Guest says:

    He still hasn't recovered from selling $86 million Olympia & York's to the Frenchman. Michael, I know you're reading this, get over it!

  33. Wire says:

    First CityWide Change Bank to the rescue.

  34. GDA says:

    yes yes….or…or… we could "stigmatize" people who think they are "entitled" to benefits they never earned and teach our kids to stop being a bunch of whiners and learn how to work for a living….even though sometimes, things get really hard.

  35. Whoops says:

    Ugly Nathan Fillon SMASH BANKS!

  36. gifted says:

    clearly not the smartest in the room, only in his mind

  37. OWS protester says:

    I'm taking my $200 acct somewhere else

  38. TGFBV says:

    Never work. They have no money, and therefore, no influence. Instead, they start their own bank; OWS Bank.

    –Asset balances are low, but the NSF and low balance fees would rock.
    –Special loan programs to finance remodeling your parents basement, or for purchasing a new bicycle; use backpacks and Starbucks cards as collateral.
    –Open an account and get a free "Rage Against the Machine" t-shirt.

    Put the bad guys out of business in no time. Plant the seed, ML; a ten-bagger for sure.

  39. Guest says:

    I wonder if it occurred to Michael that if a university starts boycotting a bank, that bank might suddenly become less inclined to hire its graduates.

    And if it were successful…and the bank went under…that would guarantee more unemployed alumni.

  40. Time says:

    Zuck threw Instagram a cool 1B while Vickles is passing around the hat for a few mil. The times are a-changing.

  41. IN9kyD Thanks a lot for the article post. Keep writing.

  42. Herman ze German says:

    Debt = negative deposits = banks run you. Your argument is invalid

  43. Guest says:

    If Michael Lewis would have just landed in the Equities in Dallas group where he belonged we wouldn't have to deal with his bs. We all owe the Solly HR Team a big: Thank You.

  44. pkh8Dy Fantastic article post. Awesome.

  45. Ima Rzucidlo says:

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  47. guest says:

    There's a reply button, chief

    – guy who knows buttons

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